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Full text of "Aesop's fables"

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G14741>27i/i 



NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES 



3 3333 08575 4758 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

Microsoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/aesopsfablesOOaeso 




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THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE 




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ANEAV TRANSLATION 

BYA^-SVERNON -JONES 

WITH-AN-INTRODUCTION 

BYG-RCHESTERTON 

AND-ILLUSTRATIONS 

BYARTHURRACKHAM 




LONDON : WILLIAM- HE INEMANN 
NEW-YORK=DOUBLEDAT-PAGE-(&'-C° 



1912 








^ 



THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

TILPEiN FOUNDATI«N«, 



Printed in England 



INTRODUCTION 

JESOP embodies an epigram not uncommon in human 
history ; his fame is all the more deserved because 
he never deserved it. The firm foundations of common 
sense, the shrewd shots at uncommon sense, that charac- 
terise all the Fables^ belong not him but to humanity. 
In the earliest human history whatever is authentic is 
universal : and whatever is universal is anonymous. In 
such cases there is always some central man who had first 
the trouble of collecting them, and afterwards the fame of 
creating them. He had the fame ; and, on the whole, he 
earned the fame. There must have been something great 
and human, something of the human future and the human 
past, in such a man : o^n if l^-c only usi^S. ii to rob the past 
or deceive the future. The r>iooj pf Arthur may have been 
really connected with the most fighting Christianity of falling 
Rome or with the most heathen hadiiions hidden in the hills 
of Wales. But the word " Mappe " or " Malory " will 
always mean King Arthur ; even though we find older and 
better origins than the Mabinogian ; or write later and worse 
versions than the *' Idylls of the King.'* The nursery fairy 

V 



tales may have come out of Asia with the Indo-European 
race, now fortunately extinct ; they may have been invented 
by some fine French lady or gentleman lik^ Perrault : they 
may possibly even be what they profess to be. But we shall 
always call the best selection of such tales " Grimm's Tales " ; 
simply because it is the best collection. 

The historical /Esop, in so far as he was historical, would 
seem to have been a Phrygian slave, or at least one not to be 
specially and symbolically adorned with the Phrygian cap 
of liberty. He lived, if he did live, about the sixth century 
before Christ, in the time of that Crwsus whose story we love 
and suspect like everything else in Herodotus. There are 
also stories of deformity of feature and a ready ribaldry of 
tongue : stories which {as the celebrated Cardinal said) 
explain, though they do not excuse, his having been hurled 
over a high precipice at Delphi. It^ is for those who read the 
Fables to judge whether he Was. T\idlly thrown over the cli0 
for being ugly and ojf-msive;.o:r tather for being highly moral 
and correct. But there, iV no 'kind of doubt that the general 
legend of him may jasUy rdnF^'him with a race too easily 
forgotten in our modern comparisons : the race of the great 
philosophic slaves. /Esop may have been a fiction like 
Uncle Remus : he was also, like Uncle Remus, a fact. It 
is a fact that slaves in the old world could be worshipped 
vi 



like /Esop, or loved like Uncle Remus. It is odd to note 
that both the great slaves told their best stories about beasts 
and birds. 

But whatever be fairly due to JEsop, the human tradition 
called Fables is not due to him. This had gone on long 
before any sarcastic freedman from Phrygia had or had not 
been flung off a precipice ; this has remained long after. 
It is to our advantage, indeed, to realise the distinction ; 
because it makes /Esop more obviously effective than any 
other fabulist. Grimm's Tales, glorious as they are, were 
collected by two German students. And if we find it hard 
to be certain of a German studenty at least we k^^ow more 
about him than we k^ow about a Phrygian slave. The 
truth is, of course, that /Esop's Fables are not jEsop's fables, 
any more than Grimm's Fairy Tales were ever Grimnis 
fairy tales. But the fable and the fairy tale are things 
utterly distinct. There are many elements of difference ; 
but the plainest is plain enough. There can be no good fable 
with human beings in it. There can be no good fairy tale 
without them. 

JEsop, or Babrius {or whatever his name was), understood 
that, for a fable, all the persons must be impersonal. They 
must be like abstractions in algebra, or like pieces in chess. 
The lion must always be stronger than the wolf, just as four 

b vii 



is always double of two. The fox in a fable must move 
crooked, as the knight in chess must move crooked. The 
sheep in a fable must march on, as the pawn in chess must 
march on. The fable must not allow for the crooked cap- 
tures of the pawn ; it must not allow for what Balzac called 
" the revolt of a sheep.'* The fairy tale, on the other hand^ 
absolutely revolves on the pivot of human personality. If 
no hero were there to fight the dragons, we should not even 
know that they were dragons. If no adventurer were cast 
on the undiscovered island — it would remain undiscovered. 
If the miller's third son does not find the enchanted garden 
where the seven princesses stand white and frozen — why, 
then, they will remain white and frozen and enchanted. 
If there is no personal prince to find the Sleeping Beauty 
she will simply sleep. Fables repose upon quite the opposite 
idea ; that everything is itself, and will in any case speak 
for itself. The wolf will be always wolfish ; the fox will 
he always foxy . Something of the same sort may have been 
meant by the animal worship, in which Egyptian and Indian 
and many other great peoples have combined. Men do not, 
I think, love beetles or cats or crocodiles with a wholly 
personal love ; they salute them as expressions of that 
abstract and anonymous energy in nature which to any one 
is awful, and to an atheist must be frightful. So in all the 
viii 



fables that are or are not JEsop^s all the animal forces drive 
like inanimate forces, like great rivers or growing trees. It 
is the limit and the loss of all such things that they cannot 
be anything but themselves : it is their tragedy that they 
could not lose their souls. 

This is the immortal justification of the Fable : that we 
could not teach the plainest truths so simply without turning 
men into chessmen. We cannot talk of such simple things 
without using animals that do not talk ^' <^ll' Suppose, 
for a moment, that you turn the wolf into a wolfish baron, 
or the fox into a foxy diplomatist. You will at once remem- 
ber that even barons are human, you will he unable to forget 
that even diplomatists are men. You will always be looking 
for that accidental good-humour that should go with the 
brutality of any brutal man ; for that allowance for all 
delicate things, including virtue, that should exist in any 
good diplomatist. Once put a thing on two legs instead of 
four and pluck it of feathers and you cannot help asking for 
a human being, either heroic, as in the fairy tales, or un- 
heroic, as in the modern novels. 

But by using animals in this austere and arbitrary style 
as they are used on the shields of heraldry or the hiero- 
glyphics of the ancients, men have really succeeded in 
handing down those tremendous truths that are called 

ix 



truisms. If the chivalric lion be red and rampant, it is 
rigidly red and rampant ; if the sacred ibis stands anywhere 
on one leg, it stands on one leg for ever. In this language, 
like a large animal alphabet, are written some of the first 
philosophic certainties of men. As the child learns A for 
Ass or B for Bull or C for Cow, so man has learnt here to 
connect the simpler and stronger creatures with the simpler 
and stronger truths. That a flowing stream cannot befoul 
its own fountain, and that any one who says it does is a 
tyrant and a liar ; that a mouse is too weak to fight a lion, 
but too strong for the cords that can hold a lion ; that a 
fox who gets most out of a flat dish may easily get least out 
of a deep dish ; that the crow whom the gods forbid to 
sing, the gods nevertheless provide with cheese ; that when 
the goat insults from a mountain-top it is not the goat 
that insults, but the mountain : all these are deep truths 
deeply graven on the rocl^s wherever men have passed. It 
matters nothing how old they are, or how new ; they are 
the alphabet of humanity, which like so many forms of 
primitive picture-writing employs any living symbol in 
preference to man. These ancient and universal tales are 
all of animals ; as the latest discoveries in the oldest pre- 
historic caverns are all of animals. Man, in his simpler 
states, always felt that he himself was something too 

X 



mysterious to be drawn. But the legend he carved under 

these cruder symbols was everywhere the same; and whether 

fables began with /Esop or began with Adam, whether they 

were German and medicsval as Reynard the Fox, or as 

French and Renaissance as La Fontaine, the upshot is 

everywhere essentially the same : that superiority is always 

insolent, because it is always accidental ; that pride goes 

before a fall ; and that there is such a thing as being too 

clever by half. You will not find any other legend but 

this written upon the rocks by any hand of man. There 

is every type and time of fable : but there is only one 

moral to the fable ; because there is only one moral to 

everything. 

G. K. CHESTERTON 



XI 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

THE FOX AND THE GRAPES 1 

THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGGS 2 

THE CAT AND THE MICE 2 

THE MISCHIEVOUS DOG 3 

THE CHARCOAL-BURNER AND THE FULLER 4 

THE MICE IN COUNCIL 4 

THE BAT AND THE WEASELS 5 

THE DOG AND THE SOW 5 

THE FOX AND THE CROW 6 

THE HORSE AND THE GROOM 6 

THE WOLF AND THE LAMB 9 

THE PEACOCK AND THE CRANE 9 

THE CAT AND THE BIRDS 10 

THE SPENDTHRIFT AND THE SWALLOW 10 

THE OLD WOMAN AND THE DOCTOR 13 

THE MOON AND HER MOTHER 14 

MERCURY AND THE WOODMAN 14 

THE ASS, THE FOX, AND THE LION 15 

THE LION AND THE MOUSE 16 

xiii 



PAGE 

THE CROW AND THE PITCHER 17 

THE BOYS AND THE FROGS 17 

THE NORTH WIND AND THE SUN 18 

THE MISTRESS AND HER SERVANTS 18 

THE GOODS AND THE ILLS 21 

THE HARES AND THE FROGS 22 

THE FOX AND THE STORK 23 

THE WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING 24 

THE STAG IN THE OX-STALL 24 

THE MILKMAID AND HER PAIL 25 
THE DOLPHINS. THE WHALES, AND THE SPRAT 26 

THE FOX AND THE MONKEY 26 

THE ASS AND THE LAP-DOG 27 

THE FIR-TREE AND THE BRAMBLE 28 

THE FROGS' COMPLAINT AGAINST THE SUN 29 

THE DOG. THE COCK, AND THE FOX 29 

THE GNAT AND THE BULL 30 

THE BEAR AND THE TRAVELLERS 30 

THE SLAVE AND THE LION 31 

THE FLEA AND THE MAN 32 

THE BEE AND JUPITER 35 

THE OAK AND THE REEDS 36 

THE BLIND MAN AND THE CUB 36 
xiv 



PAGE 

THE BOY AND THE SNAILS 39 

THE APES AND THE TWO TRAVELLERS 39 

THE ASS AND HIS BURDENS 40 

THE SHEPHERD'S BOY AND THE WOLF 41 

THE FOX AND THE GOAT 42 

THE FISHERMAN AND THE SPRAT 43 

THE BOASTING TRAVELLER 43 

THE CRAB AND HIS MOTHER 44 

THE ASS AND HIS SHADOW 44 

THE FARMER AND HIS SONS 45 

THE DOG AND THE COOK 45 

THE MONKEY AS KING 46 

THE THIEVES AND THE COCK 47 

THE FARMER AND FORTUNE 48 

JUPITER AND THE MONKEY 48 

FATHER AND SONS 49 

THE LAMP 49 

THE OWL AND THE BIRDS 50 

THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN 53 

THE SHE-GOATS AND THEIR BEARDS 54 

THE OLD LION 54 

THE BOY BATHING 55 

THE QUACK FROG 56 

C XV 



PAGE 

THE SWOLLEN FOX 56 

THE MOUSE, THE FROG, AND THE HAWK 57 

THE BOY AND THE NETTLES 57 

THE PEASANT AND THE APPLE-TREE 58 

THE JACKDAW AND THE PIGEONS 58 

JUPITER AND THE TORTOISE 59 

THE DOG IN THE MANGER 60 

THE TWO BAGS 60 

THE OXEN AND THE AXLETREES 61 

THE BOY AND THE FILBERTS 61 

THE FROGS ASKING FOR A KING 62 

THE OLIVE-TREE AND THE FIG-TREE 65 

THE LION AND THE BOAR 65 

THE WALNUT-TREE 66 

THE MAN AND THE LION 66 

THE TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE 67 

THE KID ON THE HOUSETOP 67 

THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL 68 

THE VAIN JACKDAW 68 

THE TRAVELLER AND HIS DOG 69 

THE SHIPWRECKED MAN AND THE SEA 70 

THE WILD BOAR AND THE FOX 70 

MERCURY AND THE SCULPTOR 71 
xvi 



PAGE 

THE FAWN AND HIS MOTHER 71 

THE FOX AND THE LION 72 

THE EAGLE AND HIS CAPTOR 73 

THE BLACKSMITH AND HIS DOG 73 

THE STAG AT THE POOL 74 

THE DOG AND THE SHADOW 75 

MERCURY AND THE TRADESMEN 76 

THE MICE AND THE WEASELS 76 

THE PEACOCK AND JUNO 77 

THE BEAR AND THE FOX 78 

THE ASS AND THE OLD PEASANT 78 

THE OX AND THE FROG 81 

THE MAN AND THE IMAGE 82 

HERCULES AND THE WAGGONER 82 

THE POMEGRANATE, THE APPLE-TREE. AND THE 

BRAMBLE 83 

THE LION, THE BEAR, AND THE FOX 83 

THE BLACKAMOOR 84 

THE TWO SOLDIERS AND THE ROBBER 84 

THE LION AND THE WILD ASS 85 

THE MAN AND THE SATYR 86 

THE IMAGE-SELLER 88 

THE EAGLE AND THE ARROW 88 

xvil 



PAGE 

THE RICH MAN AND THE TANNER 89 

THE WOLF, THE MOTHER, AND HER CHILD 89 

THE OLD WOMAN AND THE WINE- JAR 90 

THE LIONESS AND THE VIXEN 91 

THE VIPER AND THE FILE 91 

THE CAT AND THE COCK 92 

THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE 92 

THE SOLDIER AND HIS HORSE 95 

THE OXEN AND THE BUTCHERS 96 

THE WOLF AND THE LION 96 

THE SHEEP, THE WOLF, AND THE STAG 97 

THE LION AND THE THREE BULLS 98 

THE HORSE AND HIS RIDER 98 

THE GOAT AND THE VINE 99 

THE TWO POTS 100 

THE OLD HOUND 100 

THE CLOWN AND THE COUNTRYMAN 101 

THE LARK AND THE FARMER 102 

THE LION AND THE ASS 103 

THE PROPHET 103 

THE HOUND AND THE HARE 104 

THE LION. THE MOUSE. AND THE FOX 105 

THE TRUMPETER TAKEN PRISONER 105 
xviii 



PAGE 

THE WOLF AND THE CRANE 106 

THE EAGLE, THE CAT. AND THE WILD SOW 106 

THE WOLF AND THE SHEEP 109 

THE TUNNY-FISH AND THE DOLPHIN 1 10 

THE THREE TRADESMEN 1 10 

THE MOUSE AND THE BULL 1 1 1 

THE HARE AND THE HOUND 1 1 1 
THE TOWN MOUSE AND THE COUNTRY MOUSE 112 

THE LION AND THE BULL 113 

THE WOLF, THE FOX, AND THE APE 114 

THE EAGLE AND THE COCKS 114 

THE ESCAPED JACKDAW 117 

THE FARMER AND THE FOX - 117 

VENUS AND THE CAT 118 

THE CROW AND THE SWAN 118 

THE STAG WITH ONE EYE 119 

THE FLY AND THE DRAUGHT-MULE 119 

THE COCK AND THE JEWEL 120 

THE WOLF AND THE SHEPHERD 120 

THE FARMER AND THE STORK 123 

THE CHARGER AND THE MILLER 123 

THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE OWL 124 

THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANTS 125 

xix 



PAGE 

THE FARMER AND THE VIPER 126 

THE TWO FROGS 126 

THE COBBLER TURNED DOCTOR 127 

THE ASS, THE COCK. AND THE LION 127 

THE BELLY AND THE MEMBERS 128 

THE BALD MAN AND THE FLY 129 

THE ASS AND THE WOLF 130 

THE MONKEY AND THE CAMEL 131 

THE SICK MAN AND THE DOCTOR 131 

THE TRAVELLERS AND THE PLANE-TREE 132 

THE FLEA AND THE OX 133 

THE BIRDS, THE BEASTS, AND THE BAT 133 

THE MAN AND HIS TWO SWEETHEARTS 134 
THE EAGLE, THE JACKDAW, AND THE SHEPHERD 134 

THE WOLF AND THE BOY 135 

THE MILLER. HIS SON, AND THEIR ASS 136 

THE STAG AND THE VINE 138 

THE LAMB CHASED BY A WOLF 139 

THE ARCHER AND THE LION 139 

THE WOLF AND THE GOAT 140 

THE SICK STAG 140 

THE ASS AND THE MULE 143 

BROTHER AND SISTER 143 

XX 



PAGE 

THE HEIFER AND THE OX 144 

THE KINGDOM OF THE LION 145 

THE ASS AND HIS DRIVER 146 

THE LION AND THE HARE 146 

THE WOLVES AND THE DOGS 147 

THE BULL AND THE CALF 147 

THE TREES AND THE AXE 148 

THE ASTRONOMER 148 

THE LABOURER AND THE SNAKE 149 

THE CAGE-BIRD AND THE BAT 149 

THE ASS AND HIS PURCHASER 150 

THE KID AND THE WOLF 151 

THE DEBTOR AND HIS SOW 152 

THE BALD HUNTSMAN 153 

THE HERDSMAN AND THE LOST BULL 153 

THE MULE 154 

THE HOUND AND THE FOX 155 

THE FATHER AND HIS DAUGHTERS 155 

THE THIEF AND THE INNKEEPER 156 

THE PACK-ASS AND THE WILD ASS 157 

THE ASS AND HIS MASTERS 158 
THE PACK-ASS, THE WILD ASS, AND THE LION 158 

THE ANT 159 

XXI 



PAGE 

THE FROGS AND THE WELL 160 

THE CRAB AND THE FOX 160 

THE FOX AND THE GRASSHOPPER 163 

THE FARMER, HIS BOY. AND THE ROOKS 163 

THE ASS AND THE DOG 164 

THE ASS CARRYING THE IMAGE 165 

THE ATHENIAN AND THE THEBAN 165 

THE GOATHERD AND THE GOAT 166 

THE SHEEP AND THE DOG 169 

THE SHEPHERD AND THE WOLF 169 

THE LION, JUPITER, AND THE ELEPHANT 170 

THE PIG AND THE SHEEP 171 

THE GARDENER AND HIS DOG 171 

THE RIVERS AND THE SEA 172 

THE LION IN LOVE 172 

THE BEE-KEEPER 173 

THE WOLF AND THE HORSE 174 

THE BAT, THE BRAMBLE, AND THE SEAGULL 174 

THE DOG AND THE WOLF 177 

THE WASP AND THE SNAKE 178 

THE EAGLE AND THE BEETLE 178 

THE FOWLER AND THE LARK 179 

THE FISHERMAN PIPING 180 

xxii 



PAGE 

THE WEASEL AND THE MAN 180 

THE PLOUGHMAN, THE ASS, AND THE OX 183 

DEMADES AND HIS FABLE 183 

THE MONKEY AND THE DOLPHIN 184 

THE CROW AND THE SNAKE 187 

THE DOGS AND THE FOX 187 

THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE HAWK 187 

THE ROSE AND THE AMARANTH 188 

THE MAN. THE HORSE, THE OX, AND THE DOG 188 

THE WOLVES, THE SHEEP, AND THE RAM 189 

THE SWAN 190 

THE SNAKE AND JUPITER 190 

THE WOLF AND HIS SHADOW 191 

THE PLOUGHMAN AND THE WOLF 192 

MERCURY AND THE MAN BITTEN BY AN ANT 192 

THE WILY LION 193 

THE PARROT AND THE CAT 193 

THE STAG AND THE LION 194 

THE IMPOSTOR 194 

THE DOGS AND THE HIDES 195 

THE LION, THE FOX. AND THE ASS 196 

THE FOWLER, THE PARTRIDGE, AND THE COCK 197 

THE GNAT AND THE LION 198 

d xxiii 



PAGE 

THE FARMER AND HIS DOGS 199 

THE EAGLE AND THE FOX 199 

THE BUTCHER AND HIS CUSTOMERS 200 

HERCULES AND MINERVA 201 

THE FOX WHO SERVED A LION 202 

THE QUACK DOCTOR 202 

THE LION, THE WOLF, AND THE FOX 203 

HERCULES AND PLUTUS 204 

THE FOX AND THE LEOPARD 205 

THE FOX AND THE HEDGEHOG 205 

THE CROW AND THE RAVEN 206 

THE WITCH 207 

THE OLD MAN AND DEATH 207 

THE MISER 208 

THE FOXES AND THE RIVER 208 

THE HORSE AND THE STAG 211 

THE FOX AND THE BRAMBLE 212 

THE FOX AND THE SNAKE 212 

THE LION, THE FOX, AND THE STAG 212 

THE MAN WHO LOST HIS SPADE 214 

THE PARTRIDGE AND THE FOWLER 215 

THE RUNAWAY SLAVE 215 

THE HUNTER AND THE WOODMAN 216 
xxiv 



PAGE 

THE SERPENT AND THE EAGLE 216 

THE ROGUE AND THE ORACLE 217 

THE HORSE AND THE ASS 218 

THE DOG CHASING A WOLF 219 

GRIEF AND HIS DUE 219 

THE HAWK. THE KITE, AND THE PIGEONS 220 

THE WOMAN AND THE FARMER 220 

PROMETHEUS AND THE MAKING OF MAN 221 

THE SWALLOW AND THE CROW 221 

THE HUNTER AND THE HORSEMAN 222 

THE GOATHERD AND THE WILD GOATS 222 

THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE SWALLOW 223 

THE TRAVELLER AND FORTUNE 224 



XXV 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



IN COLOUR 

The Hare and the Tortoise 

The Moon and her Mother 

The Fir-tree and the Bramble 

The Crab and his Mother 

The Quack Frog 

The Shipwrecked Man and the Sea 

The Blackamoor 

The Two Pots 

Venus and the Cat 

The Travellers and the Plane-tree 

The Trees and the Axe 

The Lion, Jupiter, and the Elephant 

The Gnat and the Lion 



Facing 
page 



f rontispiece 



14 

28 

44 

56 

70 

84 

100 

118 

132 

148 

170 

198 



IN BLACK AND WHITE 

The Fox and the Grapes 
The Fox and the Crow 
The Cat and the Birds 
The Crow and the Pitcher 
The North Wind and the Sun 



PAGE 

1 

7 

11 

17 

19 

xxvii 



PAGE 

The Fox and the Stork 23 

The Gnat and the Bull 30 

The Flea and the Man 33 

The Oak and the Reeds 37 

The Thieves and the Cock 47 

The Owl and the Birds 51 

The Ass in the Lion's Skin 53 

The Boy Bathing 55 

The Dog in the Manger 60 

The Frogs Asking for a King 62 

King Log 63 

The Fox without a Tail 68 

The Fox and the Lion 72 

The Dog and the Shadow 75 

The Bear and the Fox 79 

The Ox and the Frog 81 

The Man and the Satyr 86, 87 

The Old Woman and the Wine-jar 90 

The Cat and the Cock 93 

The Sheep, the Wolf, and the Stag 97 

The Goat and the Vine 99 

The Hound and the Hare 104 

The Wolf and the Crane 107 

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse 112 

The Wolf, the Fox, and the Ape 115 

The Cock and the Jewel 121 
xxviii 



PAGE 

The Grasshopper and the Ants 125 

The Bald Man and the Fly 129 

The Monkey and the Camel 131 
The Miller, his Son, and their Ass 136-138 

The Wolf and the Goat 141 

The Kingdom of the Lion 145 

The Kid and the Wolf 151 

The Mule 154 

The Frogs and the Well 161 

The Goatherd and the Goat 167 

The Wolf and the Horse 175 

The Fisherman Piping 181 

The Monkey and the Dolphin 185 

The Wolf and his Shadow 191 

The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass 196 

The Gnat and the Lion 198 

The Fox and the Leopard 205 

The Miser 209 

The Hunter and the Woodman 216 

The Horse and the Ass 218 



xxix 



/ESOFS FABLES 




THE FOX AND THE GRAPES 

A HUNGRY Fox saw some fine bunches of Grapes 
'^^ hanging from a vine that was trained along a 
high treUls, and did his best to reach them by jump- 
ing as high as he could Into the air. But It was all m 
vam, for they were just out of reach : so he gave up 
trying, and walked away with an air of dignity and 
unconcern, remarking, " I thought those Grapes were 
ripe, but I see now they are quite sour." 




THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN 
EGGS 

A MAN and his Wife had the good fortune to possess 
a Goose which laid a Golden Egg every day. 
Lucky though they were, they soon began to think 
they were not getting rich fast enough, and, imagining 
the bird must be made of gold inside, they decided to 
kill it in order to secure the whole store of precious 
metal at once. But when they cut it open they found 
it was just like any other goose. Thus, they neither 
got rich all at once, as they had hoped, nor enjoyed any 
longer the daily addition to their wealth. 

Much wants more and loses all. 



THE CAT AND THE MICE 

I 'HERE was once a house that was overrun with 
^ Mice. A Cat heard of this, and said to herself, 
*' That's the place for me," and off she went and 
took up her quarters in the house, and caught the 
Mice one by one and ate them. At last the Mice could 
stand it no longer, and they determined to take to their 
holes and stay there. " That's awkward," said the Cat 
to herself : " the only thing to do is to coax them out by 
a trick." So she considered a while, and then climbed up 
the wall and let herself hang down by her hind legs from 
a peg, and pretended to be dead. By and by a Mouse 

2 



peeped out and saw the Cat hanging there. " Aha ! " 
it cried, " you're very clever, madam, no doubt : but 
you may turn yourself Into a bag of meal hanging there, 
if you like, yet you won't catch us coming anywhere 
near you." 

If you are wise you won't be deceived 
by the innocent airs of those whorni 
you have once found to be dangerous. 



THE MISCHIEVOUS DOG 

I 'HERE was once a Dog who used to snap at people 
^ and bite them without any provocation, and who 
was a great nuisance to every one who came to his 
master's house. So his master fastened a bell round his 
neck to warn people of his presence. The Dog was 
very proud of the bell, and strutted about tinkling it 
with immense satisfaction. But an old dog came up 
to him and said, " The fewer airs you give yourself the 
better, my friend. You don't think, do you, that your 
bell was given you as a reward of merit ? On the 
contrary, it is a badge of disgrace." 

Notoriety is often mistaken for fame. 



THE CHARCOAL-BURNER AND THE FULLER 

THERE was once a Charcoal-burner who lived and 
worked by himself. A Fuller, however, happened 
to come and settle in the same neighbourhood ; and the 
Charcoal-burner, having made his acquaintance and 
finding he was an agreeable sort of fellow, asked him if 
he would come and share his house : " We shall get to 
know one another better that way," he said, " and, 
beside, our household expenses will be diminished. " The 
Fuller thanked him, but replied, " I couldn't think of 
it, sir : why, everything I take such pains to whiten would 
be blackened in no time by your charcoal." 



THE MICE IN COUNCIL 

ONCE upon a time all the Mice met together in 
Council, and discussed the best means of securing 
themselves against the attacks of the cat. After several 
suggestions had been debated, a Mouse of some standing 
and experience got up and said, " I think I have hit upon 
a plan which will ensure our safety in the future, provided 
you approve and carry it out. It is that we should fasten 
a bell round the neck of our enemy the cat, which will 
by its tinkling warn us of her approach." This proposal 
was warmly applauded, and it had been already decided 
to adopt it, when an old Mouse got upon his feet and said, 
I agree with you all that the plan before us is an admir- 
able one : but may I ask who is going to bell the cat ? " 
4 



THE BAT AND THE WEASELS 

A BAT fell to the ground and was caught by a Weasel, 
■^ ^ and was just going to be killed and eaten when it 
begged to be let go. The Weasel said he couldn't do 
that because he was an enemy of all birds on principle. 
" Oh, but," said the Bat, " I'm not a bird at all : I'm a 
mouse." " So you are," said the Weasel, *' now I come 
to look at you"; and he let it go. Some time after this 
the Bat was caught in just the same way by another 
Weasel, and, as before, begged for its life. " No," 
said the Weasel, " I never let a mouse go by any chance." 
" But I'm not a mouse," said the Bat ; " I'm a bird. " 
" Why, so you are," said the Weasel ; and he too let the 
Bat go. 

Look and see which way the wind 
blows before you commit yourself. 



THE DOG AND THE SOW 

A DOG and a Sow were arguing and each claimed 
^ *• that its own young ones were finer than those 
of any other animal. " Well, " said the Sow at last, 
" mine can see, at any rate, when they come into the 
world : but yours are born blind." 



THE FOX AND THE CROW 

A CROW was sitting on a branch of a tree with a piece 
-^^^ of cheese in her beak when a Fox observed her 
and set his wits to work to discover some way of getting 
the cheese. Coming and standing under the tree he 
looked up and said, *' What a noble bird I see above me ! 
Her beauty is without equal, the hue of her plumage 
exquisite. If only her voice is as sweet as her looks 
are fair, she ought without doubt to be Queen of the 
Birds." The Crow was hugely flattered by this, and 
just to show the Fox that she could sing she gave a 
loud caw. Down came the cheese, of course, and the 
Fox, snatching it up, said, " You have a voice, madam, 
I see : what you want is wits." 



THE HORSE AND THE GROOM 

' I 'HERE was once a Groom who used to spend long 
^ hours clipping and combing the Horse of which 
he had charge, but who daily stole a portion of his 
allowance of oats, and sold it for his own profit. The 
Horse gradually got into worse and worse condition, 
and at last cried to the Groom, " If you really want 
me to look sleek and well, you must comb me less and 
feed me more." 




THE FOX AND THE CROW 



THE WOLF AND THE LAMB 

A WOLF came upon a Lamb straying from the 
^~^ flock, and felt some compunction about taking 
the life of so helpless a creature without some plausible 
excuse ; so he cast about for a grievance and said at 
last, " Last year, sirrah, you grossly insulted me." 
" That is impossible, sir," bleated the Lamb, " for I 
wasn't born then." " Well," retorted the Wolf, " you 
feed in my pastures." " That cannot be," replied the 
Lamb, " for I have never yet tasted grass." " You 
drink from my spring, then," continued the Wolf. 
Indeed, sir," said the poor Lamb, " I have never yet 
drunk anything but my mother's milk." " Well, anyhow," 
said the Wolf, " I'm not going without my dinner " : 
and he sprang upon the Lamb and devoured it without 
more ado. 



THE PEACOCK AND THE CRANE 

A PEACOCK taunted a Crane with the dullness of 
^^*' her plumage. " Look at my brilliant colours," 
said she, " and see how much finer they are than your 
poor feathers." " I am not denying," replied the 
Crane, " that yours are far gayer than mine ; but when 
it comes to flying I can soar into the clouds, whereas 
you are confined to the earth like any dunghill cock." 



THE CAT AND THE BIRDS 

A CAT heard that the Birds in an aviary were aihng. 
^^*^ So he got himself up as a doctor, and, taking with 
him a set of the mstruments proper to his profession, 
presented himself at the door, and mquired after the 
health of the Birds. " We shall do very well," they 
replied, without letting him in, " when we've seen the 
last of you." 

A villain may disguise himself, but he 
will not deceive the wise. 



THE SPENDTHRIFT AND THE SWALLOW 

A SPENDTHRIFT, who had wasted his fortune, 
^^^ and had nothing left but the clothes in which 
he stood, saw a Swallow one fine day in early spring. 
Thinking that summer had come, and that he could now 
do without his coat, he went and sold it for what it would 
fetch. A change, however, took place in the weather, 
and there came a sharp frost which killed the unfor- 
tunate Swallow. When the Spendthrift saw its dead 
body he cried, " Miserable bird ! Thanks to you I am 
perishing of cold myself." 

One swallow does not make summer. 
10 




THE CAT AND THE BIRDS 



THE OLD WOMAN AND THE DOCTOR 

A N Old Woman became almost totally blind from a 
•^ *^ disease of the eyes, and, after consultmg a Doctor, 
made an agreement with him in the presence of witnesses 
that she should pay him a high fee if he cured her, while 
if he failed he was to receive nothing. The Doctor 
accordingly prescribed a course of treatment, and every 
time he paid her a visit he took away with him some 
article out of the house, until at last, when he visited 
her for the last time, and the cure was complete, there 
was nothing left. When the Old Woman saw that the 
house was empty she refused to pay him his fee ; and, 
after repeated refusals on her part, he sued her before 
the magistrates for payment of her debt. On being 
brought into court she was ready with her defence. 
" The claimant," said she, " has stated the facts about 
our agreement correctly. I undertook to pay him a fee 
if he cured me, and he, on his part, promised to charge 
nothing if he failed. Now, he says I am cured ; but I 
say that I am blinder than ever, and I can prove what I 
say. When my eyes were bad I could at any rate see 
well enough to be aware that my house contained a 
certain amount of furniture and other things ; but now, 
when according to him I am cured, I am entirely unable 
to see anything there at all." 



13 



THE MOON AND HER MOTHER 

' I 'HE Moon once begged her Mother to make her a 
^ gown. " How can I ? " replied she ; " there's 
no fitting your figure. At one time you're a New Moon, 
and at another you're a Full Moon ; and between whiles 
you're neither one nor the other." 



MERCURY AND THE WOODMAN 

A WOODMAN was felling a tree on the bank of a 
-^^^ river, when his axe, glancing off the trunk, flew 
out of his hands and fell into the water. As he stood by 
the water's edge lamenting his loss. Mercury appeared 
and asked him the reason for his grief ; and on learning 
what had happened, out of pity for his distress he dived 
into the river and, bringing up a golden axe, asked him 
if that was the one he had lost. The Woodman replied 
that it was not, and Mercury then dived a second time, 
and, bringing up a silver axe, asked if that was his. 
" No, that is not mine either," said the Woodman. 
Once more Mercury dived into the river, and brought 
up the missing axe. The Woodman was overjoyed at 
recovering his property, and thanked his benefactor 
warmly ; and the latter was so pleased with his honesty 
that he made him a present of the other two axes. When 
the Woodman told the story to his companions, one of 
these was filled with envy of his good fortune and 
14 



THE MOON AND HER MOTHER 



determined to try his luck for himself. So he went and 
began to fell a tree at the edge of the river, and presently 
contrived to let his axe drop into the v^^ater. Mercury 
appeared as before, and, on learning that his axe had 
fallen in, he dived and brought up a golden axe, as 
he had done on the previous occasion. Without waitmg 
to be asked whether it was his or not the fellow cried, 
" That's mine, that's mine," and stretched out his hand 
eagerly for the prize : but Mercury was so disgusted at 
his dishonesty that he not only declined to give him the 
golden axe, but also refused to recover for him the one 
he had let fall into the stream. 

Honesty is the best policy. 



THE ASS, THE FOX, AND THE LION 

AN Ass and a Fox went into partnership and sallied 
out to forage for food together. They hadn't 
gone far before they saw a Lion coming their way, at 
which they were both dreadfully frightened. But the 
Fox thought he saw a way of saving his own skm, and 
went boldly up to the Lion and whispered in his ear, 
I'll manage that you shall get hold of the Ass without 
the trouble of stalking him, if you'll promise to let me 
go free." The Lion agreed to this, and the Fox then 
rejoined his companion and contrived before long to 
lead him by a hidden pit, which some hunter had dug 

15 



as a trap for wild animals, and into which he fell. When 
the Lion saw that the Ass was safely caught and couldn't 
get away, it was to the Fox that he first turned his 
attention, and he soon finished him off, and then at his 
leisure proceeded to feast upon the Ass. 

Betray a friend, and you'll often find 
you have ruined yourself. 



THE LION AND THE MOUSE 

A LION asleep in his lair was waked up by a Mouse 
^^^ running over his face. Losing his temper he 
seized it with his paw and was about to kill it. The 
Mouse, terrified, piteously entreated him to spare its 
life. " Please let me go," it cried, " and one day 
I will repay you for your kindness. " The idea of so 
insignificant a creature ever being able to do anything 
for him amused the Lion so much that he laughed aloud, 
and good-humouredly let it go. But the Mouse's chance 
came, after all. One day the Lion got entangled in a 
net which had been spread for game by some hunters, 
and the Mouse heard and recognised his roars of anger 
and ran to the spot. Without more ado it set to work 
to gnaw the ropes with its teeth, and succeeded before 
long in setting the Lion free. " There ! " said the 
Mouse, " you laughed at me when I promised I would 
repay you : but now you see, even a Mouse can help a 
Lion." 

16 




THE CROW AND THE PITCHER 

A THIRSTY Crow found a Pitcher with some water 
^^^^ in it, but so little was there that, try as she might, 
she could not reach it with her beak, and it seemed as 
though she would die of thirst within sight of the remedy. 
At last she hit upon a clever plan. She began dropping 
pebbles into the Pitcher, and with each pebble the water 
rose a little higher until at last it reached the brim, and 
the knowing bird was enabled to quench her thirst. 

Necessity is the mother of invention. 



THE BOYS AND THE FROGS 

OOME mischievous Boys were playing on the edge 
^ of a pond, and, catching sight of some Frogs 
swimming about in the shallow water, they began to 
amuse themselves by pelting them with stones, and 
they killed several of them. At last one of the Frogs 
put his head out of the water and said, " Oh, stop ! stop ! 
I beg of you : what is sport to you is death to us." 

c 17 



THE NORTH WIND AND THE SUN 

A DISPUTE arose between the North Wind and the 
Sun, each claiming that he was stronger than the 
other. At last they agreed to try their powers upon a 
traveller, to see which could soonest strip him of his cloak. 
The North Wind had the first try ; and, gathering up all 
his force for the attack, he came whirling furiously down 
upon the man, and caught up his cloak as though he would 
wrest it from him by one single effort : but the harder he 
blew, the more closely the man wrapped it round himself. 
Then came the turn of the Sun. At first he beamed 
gently upon the traveller, who soon unclasped his cloak 
and walked on with it hanging loosely about his shoulders : 
then he shone forth in his full strength, and the man, 
before he had gone many steps, was glad to throw his 
cloak right off and complete his journey more lightly 
clad 

Persuasion is better than force 



THE MISTRESS AND HER SERVANTS 

A WIDOW, thrifty and industrious, had two servants, 
whom she kept pretty hard at work. They were 
not allowed to he long abed in the mornings, but the old 
lady had them up and doing as soon as the cock crew. 
They disliked intensely having to get up at such an hour, 
especially in winter-time : and they thought that if it 
]8 




THE NORTH WIND AND THE SUN 



were not for the cock waking up their Mistress so 
horribly early, they could sleep longer. So they caught 
it and wrung its neck. But they weren't prepared for 
the consequences. For what happened was that their 
Mistress, not hearing the cock crow as usual, waked 
them up earlier than ever, and set them to work in 
the middle of the night. 



THE GOODS AND THE ILLS 

' I 'HERE was a time in the youth of the world when 
^ Goods and Ills entered equally into the concerns 
of men, so that the Goods did not prevail to make them 
altogether blessed, nor the Ills to make them wholly 
miserable. But owing to the foolishness of mankmd the 
Ills multiplied greatly in number and increased in strength, 
until it seemed as though they would deprive the Goods 
of all share in human affairs, and banish them from 
the earth. The latter, therefore, betook themselves to 
heaven and complained to Jupiter of the treatment they 
had received, at the same time praying him to grant them 
protection from the Ills, and to advise them concern- 
ing the manner of their intercourse with men. Jupiter 
granted their request for protection, and decreed that 
for the future they should not go among men openly 
in a body, and so be liable to attack from the hostile 
Ills, but singly and unobserved, and at infrequent and 
unexpected intervals. Hence it is that the earth is full 

21 



of Ills, for they come and go as they please and are never 
far away ; while Goods, alas ! come one by one only, 
and have to travel all the way from heaven, so that they 
are very seldom seen. 



THE HARES AND THE FROGS 

I 'HE Hares once gathered together and lamented the 
■■- unhappmess of their lot, exposed as they were to 
dangers on all sides and lacking the strength and the 
courage to hold their own. Men, dogs, birds and beasts 
of prey were all their enemies, and killed and devoured 
them daily : and sooner than endure such persecution 
any longer, they one and all determined to end their 
miserable lives. Thus resolved and desperate, they rushed 
in a body towards a neighbouring pool, intending to 
drown themselves. On the bank were sitting a number 
of Frogs, who, when they heard the noise of the Hares 
as they ran, with one accord leaped into the water and 
hid themselves in the depths. Then one of the older 
Hares who was wiser than the rest cried out to his com- 
panions, "Stop, my friends, take heart; don't let us 
destroy ourselves after all : see, here are creatures who 
are afraid of us, and who must, therefore, be still more 
timid than ourselves." 



22 




THE FOX AND THE STORK 

A FOX invited a Stork to dinner, at which the 
only fare provided was a large flat dish of soup. 
The Fox lapped it up with great relish, but the Stork 
with her long bill tried in vain to partake of the 
savoury broth. Her evident distress caused the sly Fox 
much amusement. But not long after the Stork invited 
him in turn, and set before him a pitcher with a long 
and narrow neck, into which she could get her bill with 
ease. Thus, while she enjoyed her dinner, the Fox sat 
by hungry and helpless, for it was impossible for him 
to reach the tempting contents of the vessel. 



Af 




23 



THE WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING 

A WOLF resolved to disguise himself in order that 
-^^' he might prey upon a flock of sheep without fear 
of detection. So he clothed himself in a sheepskm, 
and slipped among the sheep when they were out at 
pasture. He completely deceived the shepherd, and 
when the flock was penned for the night he was shut in 
with the rest. But that very night as it happened, the 
shepherd, requiring a supply of mutton for the table, 
laid hands on the Wolf in mistake for a Sheep, and 
killed him with his knife on the spot. 



THE STAG IN THE OX-STALL 

A STAG, chased from his lair by the hounds, took 
^^^ refuge in a farmyard, and, entering a stable where 
a number of oxen were stalled, thrust himself under a 
pile of hay in a vacant stall, where he lay concealed, 
all but the tips of his horns. Presently one of the Oxen 
said to him, " What has induced you to come in here ? 
Aren't you aware of the risk you are running of being 
captured by the herdsmen ? " To which he replied, 
" Pray let me stay for the present. When night comes 
I shall easily escape under cover of the dark. " In the 
course of the afternoon more than one of the farm-hands 
came in, to attend to the wants of the cattle, but not one 
of them noticed the presence of the Stag, who accordingly 

24 



began to congratulate himself on his escape and to express 
his gratitude to the Oxen. " We wish you well," said 
the one who had spoken before, " but you are not out 
of danger yet. If the master comes, you will certainly 
be found out, for nothing ever escapes his keen eyes." 
Presently, sure enough, in he came, and made a great 
to-do about the way the Oxen were kept. " The beasts 
are starving," he cried ; " here, give them more hay, 
and put plenty of litter under them." As he spoke, 
he seized an armful himself from the pile where the Stag 
lay concealed, and at once detected him. Calling his 
men, he had him seized at once and killed for the table. 



THE MILKMAID AND HER PAIL 

A FARMER'S daughter had been out to milk the cows, 
^^ and was returning to the dairy carrying her pail 
of milk upon her head. As she walked along, she fell 
a-musing after this fashion : " The milk in this pail 
will provide me with cream, which I will make into 
butter and take to market to sell. With the money I 
will buy a number of eggs, and these, when hatched, will 
produce chickens, and by and by I shall have quite a 
large poultry-yard. Then I shall sell some of my fowls, 
and with the money which they will bring in I will buy 
myself a new gown, which I shall wear when I go to the 
fair ; and all the young fellows will admire it, and come 
and make love to me, but I shall toss my head and have 
nothing to say to them." Forgetting all about the pail, 

d 25 



and suiting the action to the word, she tossed her head. 
Down went the pail, all the milk was spilled, and all her 
fine castles in the air vanished in a moment ! 

Do not count your chickens before 
they are hatched. 



THE DOLPHINS, THE WHALES, AND THE 
SPRAT 

I 'HE Dolphins quarrelled with the Whales, and 
^ before very long they began fighting with one 
another. The battle was very fierce, and had lasted 
some time without any sign of coming to an end, when a 
Sprat thought that perhaps he could stop it ; so he 
stepped in and tried to persuade them to give up fight- 
ing and make friends. But one of the Dolphins said to 
him contemptuously, " We would rather go on fighting 
till we're all killed than be reconciled by a Sprat like 
you ! 



THE FOX AND THE MONKEY 

A FOX and a Monkey were on the road together, and 
-^^- fell into a dispute as to which of the two was the 
better born. They kept it up for some time, till they 
came to a place where the road passed through a 

26 



cemetery full of monuments, when the Monkey stopped 
and looked about him and gave a great sigh. " Why do you 
sigh ? " said the Fox. The Monkey pointed to the tombs 
and replied, " All the monuments that you see here were 
put up in honour of my forefathers, who in their day were 
eminent men. The Fox was speechless for a moment, 
but quickly recovering he said, " Oh ! don't stop at any 
lie, sir; you're quite safe : I'm sure none of your ancestors 
will rise up and expose you." 

Boasters brag most when they cannot 
be detected. 



THE ASS AND THE LAP-DOG 

I 'HERE was once a man who had an Ass and a Lap- 
-*■ dog. The Ass was housed in the stable with 
plenty of oats and hay to eat and was as well off as an 
ass could be. The little Dog was made a great pet of 
by his master, who fondled him and often let him lie in his 
lap ; and if he went out to dinner, he would bring back a 
tit-bit or two to give him when he ran to meet him on his 
return. The Ass had, it is true, a good deal of work to do, 
carting or grinding the corn, or carrying the burdens of 
the farm : and ere long he became very jealous, contrast- 
ing his own life of labour with the ease and idleness of the 
Lap-dog. At last one day he broke his halter, and frisk- 
ing into the house just as his master sat down to dinner, 

27 



he pranced and capered about, mimicking the frolics of 
the httle favourite, upsettmg the table and smashing 
the crockery with his clumsy efforts. Not content with 
that, he even tried to jump on his master's lap, as he had 
so often seen the dog allowed to do. At that the servants, 
seeing the danger their master was in, belaboured the 
silly Ass with sticks and cudgels, and drove him back 
to his stable half dead with his beating. " Alas ! " he 
cried, " all this I have brought on myself. Why 
could I not be satisfied with my natural and honour- 
able position, without wishing to imitate the ridiculous 
antics of that useless little Lap-dog? " 



THE FIR-TREE AND THE BRAMBLE 

A FIR-TREE was boasting to a Bramble, and said, 
-^^^ somewhat contemptuously, " You poor creature, 
you are of no use whatever. Now, look at me : I am 
useful for all sorts of things, particularly when men 
build houses ; they can't do without me then." But the 
Bramble replied, " Ah, that's all very well : but you wait 
till they come with axes and saws to cut you down, and 
then you'll wish you were a Bramble and not a Fir." 

Better poverty without a care than 
wealth with its many obligations. 



26 



THE FIR-TREE AND THE BRAMBLE 



THE FROGS' COMPLAINT AGAINST THE 

■ SUN 

ONCE upon a time the Sun was about to take to 
himself a wife. The Frogs in terror all raised 
their voices to the skies, and Jupiter, disturbed by the 
noise, asked them what they were croaking about. 
They replied, " The Sun is bad enough even while he 
is single, drying up our marshes with his heat as he does. 
But what will become of us if he marries and begets 
other Suns? " 



THE DOG, THE COCK, AND THE FOX 

A DOG and a Cock became great friends, and agreed 
^^^ to travel together. At nightfall the Cock flew 
up into the branches of a tree to roost, while the Dog 
curled himself up inside the trunk, which was hollow. 
At break of day the Cock woke up and crew, as usual. 
A Fox heard, and, wishing to make a breakfast of him, 
came and stood under the tree and begged him to come 
down. " I should so like," said he, " to make the 
acquaintance of one who has such a beautiful voice." 
The Cock replied, " Would you just wake my porter 
who sleeps at the foot of the tree ? He'll open the door 
and let you in." The Fox accordingly rapped on the 
trunk, when out rushed the Dog and tore him in 
pieces. 

29 



THE GNAT AND THE BULL 



(t^*c«<^k. 




A GNAT alighted 
-^^^ on one of the 

horns of a Bull, and 

remained sitting 

there for a consider- 
able time. When it 

had rested sufficiently 

and was about to fly 

away, it said to the 

Bull," Do you mind 

if I go now? " The 

Bull merely raised his 

eyes and remarked, without interest, " It's all one to me ; 

I didn't notice when you came, and I shan't know when 

you go away. " 

We may often be of more consequence 
m our own eyes than in the eyes of 
our neighbours. 



THE BEAR AND THE TRAVELLERS 

' I 'WO Travellers were on the road together, when a 
^ Bear suddenly appeared on the scene. Before 
he observed them, one made for a tree at the side of the 
road, and climbed up into the branches and hid there. 
The other was not so nimble as his companion ; and, as 
30 



he could not escape, he threw himself on the ground 
and pretended to be dead. The Bear came up and sniffed 
all round him, but he kept perfectly still and held his 
breath : for they say that a bear will not touch a dead 
body. The Bear took him for a corpse, and went away. 
When the coast was clear, the Traveller in the tree came 
down, and asked the other what it was the Bear had 
whispered to him when he put his mouth to his ear. 
The other replied, " He told me never again to travel 
with a friend who deserts you at the first sign of danger." 

Misfortune tests the sincerity of friend- 
ship. 



THE SLAVE AND THE LION 

A SLAVE ran away from his master, by whom he had 
^^^^ been most cruelly treated, and, in order to avoid 
capture, betook himself into the desert. As he wandered 
about in search of food and shelter, he came to a cave, 
which he entered and found to be unoccupied. Really, 
however, it was a Lion's den, and almost immediately, to 
the horror of the wretched fugitive, the Lion himself 
appeared. The man gave himself up for lost : but, to 
his utter astonishment, the Lion, instead of springing 
upon him and devouring him, came and fawned upon 
him, at the same time whining and lifting up his paw. 
Observing it to be much swollen and inflamed, he examined 
it and found a large thorn embedded in the ball of the 

31 



foot. He accordingly removed it and dressed the wound 
as well as he could : and in course of time it healed up 
completely. The Lion's gratitude was unbounded ; he 
looked upon the man as his friend, and they shared the 
cave for some time together. A day came, however, 
when the Slave began to long for the society of his fellow- 
men, and he bade farewell to the Lion and returned to the 
town. Here he was presently recognised and carried 
off in chains to his former master, who resolved to make 
an example of him, and ordered that he should be thrown 
to the beasts at the next public spectacle in the theatre. 
On the fatal day the beasts were loosed into the arena, 
and among the rest a Lion of huge bulk and ferocious 
aspect ; and then the wretched Slave was cast in among 
them. What was the amazement of the spectators, 
when the Lion after one glance bounded up to him and 
lay down at his feet with every expression of affection 
and delight ! It was his old friend of the cave ! The 
audience clamoured that the Slave's life should be spared : 
and the governor of the town, marvelling at such gratitude 
and fidelity in a beast, decreed that both should receive 
their liberty. 



THE FLEA AND THE MAN 

A FLEA bit a Man, and bit him again, and again, till 
^^*^ he could stand it no longer, but made a thorough 
search for it, and at last succeeded in catching it. Holding 

32 




THE FLEA AND THE MAN 



it between his finger and thumb, he said — or rather 
shouted, so angry was he — " Who are you, pray, you 
wretched httle creature, that you make so free with my 
person?" The Flea, terrified, whimpered in a weak 
Httle voice, " Oh, sir ! pray let me go ; don't kill me ! 
I am such a little thing that I can't do you much harm.'* 
But the Man laughed and said, " I am going to kill you 
now, at once : whatever is bad has got to be destroyed, 
no matter how slight the harm it does." 

Do not waste your pity on a scamp. 



THE BEE AND JUPITER 

A QUEEN BEE from Hymettus flew up to Olympus 
with some fresh honey from the hive as a present 
to Jupiter, who was so pleased with the gift that he 
promised to give her anything she liked to ask for. She 
said she would be very grateful if he would give stings 
to the bees, to kill people who robbed them of their 
honey. Jupiter was greatly displeased with this request, 
for he loved mankind : but he had given his word, so 
he said that stings they should have. The stings he 
gave them, however, were of such a kind that whenever 
a bee stings a man the sting is left in the wound and the 
bee dies. 

Evil wishes, like fowls, come home 
to roost. 

35 



THE OAK AND THE REEDS 

A N Oak that grew on the bank of a river was uprooted 
^^^^ by a severe gale of wind, and thrown across the 
stream. It fell among some Reeds growmg by the water, 
and said to them, " How is it that you, who are so frail 
and slender, have managed to weather the storm, whereas 
I, with all my strength, have been torn up by the roots 
and hurled into the river?" "You were stubborn," 
came the reply, " and fought against the storm, which 
proved stronger than you : but we bow and yield to 
every breeze, and thus the gale passed harmlessly over 
our heads." 



THE BLIND MAN AND THE CUB 

I 'HERE was once a Blind Man who had so fine a 
-*■ sense of touch that, when any animal was put 
into his hands, he could tell what it was merely by the 
feel of it. One day the Cub of a Wolf was put into 
his hands, and he was asked what it was. He felt it 
for some time, and then said, " Indeed, I am not sure 
whether it is a Wolf's Cub or a Fox's : but this I 
know — it would never do to trust it in a sheepfold." 

Evil tendencies are early shown. 

36 




THE OAK AND THE REEDS 



THE BOY AND THE SNAILS 

A FARMER'S BOY went looking for Snails, ::nd, 
^^^ when he had picked up both his hands full, he 
set about making a fire at which to roast them ; for he 
meant to eat them. When it got well alight and the 
Snails began to feel the heat, they gradually withdrew 
more and more into their shells with the hissing noise 
they always make when they do so. When the Boy 
heard it, he said, " You abandoned creatures, how can 
you find heart to whistle when your houses are burning ? " 



THE APES AND THE TWO TRAVELLERS 

I 'WO men were travelling together, one of whom 
-*■ never spoke the truth, whereas the other never 
told a lie : and they came in the course of their travels 
to the land of Apes. The King of the Apes, hearing 
of their arrival, ordered them to be brought before him ; 
and by way of impressing them with his magnificence, 
he received them sitting on a throne, while the Apes, 
his subjects, were ranged in long rows on either side of 
him. When the Travellers came into his presence he 
asked them what they thought of him as a King. The 
lying Traveller said, " Sire, every one must see that 
you are a most noble and mighty monarch." *' And 
what do you think of my subjects?" continued the 
King. " They," said the Traveller, " are in every way 

39 



worthy of their royal master." The Ape was so delighted 
with his answer that he gave him a very handsome 
present. The other Traveller thought that if his com- 
panion was rewarded so splendidly for telling a lie, he 
himself would certainly receive a still greater reward for 
telling the truth ; so, when the Ape turned to him and 
said, " And what, sir, is your opinion ? " he replied, " I 
think you are a very fine Ape, and all your subjects are 
fine Apes too." The King of the Apes was so enraged 
at his reply that he ordered him to be taken away and 
clawed to death » 



THE ASS AND HIS BURDENS 

A PEDLAR who owned an Ass one day bought a 
-^^ quantity of salt, and loaded up his beast with as 
much as he could bear. On the way home the Ass 
stumbled as he was crossing a stream and fell into the 
water. The salt got thoroughly wetted and much of it 
melted and drained away, so that, when he got on his 
legs again, the Ass found his load had become much less 
heavy. His master, however, drove him back to town 
and bought more salt, which he added to what remained 
in the panniers, and started out again. No sooner had 
they reached a stream than the Ass lay down in it, and rose, 
as before, with a much lighter load. But his master 
detected the trick, and turning back once more, bought a 
large number of sponges, and piled them on the back of 

40 



the Ass. When they came to the stream the Ass agam lay 
down : but this time, as the sponges soaked up large 
quantities of water, he found, when he got up on his 
legs, that he had a bigger burden to carry than ever. 

You may play a good card once too 
often. 



THE SHEPHERD'S BOY AND THE WOLF 

A SHEPHERD'S BOY was tending his flock near a 
-^^^ village, and thought it would be great fun to hoax 
the villagers by pretending that a Wolf was attacking the 
sheep : so he shouted out, " Wolf ! wolf ! " and when 
the people came running up he laughed at them for 
their pains. He did this more than once, and every time 
the villagers found they had been hoaxed, for there was 
no Wolf at all. At last a Wolf really did come, and the 
Boy cried, " Wolf ! wolf ! " as loud as he could : but the 
people were so used to hearing him call that they took no 
notice of his cries for help. And so the Wolf had it all 
his own way, and killed oi? sheep after sheep at his 
leisure. 

You cannot believe a liar even when he 
tells the truth. 



41 



THE FOX AND THE GOAT 

A FOX fell into a well and was unable to get out 
■^^- again. By and by a thirsty Goat came by, and 
seeing the Fox in the well asked him If the water was good. 
"Good?" said the Fox, "It's the best water I ever 
tasted In all my life. Come down and try It yourself." 
The Goat thought of nothing but the prospect of quench- 
ing his thirst, and jumped In at once. When he had 
had enough to drink, he looked about, like the Fox, 
for some way of getting out, but could find none. Pre- 
sently the Fox said, " I have an idea. You stand on your 
hind legs, and plant your forelegs firmly against the 
side of the well, and then I'll climb on to your back, 
and, from there, by stepping on your horns, I can get 
out. And when I'm out, I'll help you out too." The 
Goat did as he was requested, and the Fox climbed on 
to his back and so out of the well ; and then he coolly 
walked av/ay. The Goat called loudly after him and 
reminded him of his promise to help him out : but the 
Fox merely turned and said, " If you had as much sense 
in your head as you have hair in your beard you wouldn't 
have got into the well without making certain that you 
could get out again. " 

Look before your leap. 



42 



THE FISHERMAN AND THE SPRAT 

A FISHERMAN cast his net into the sea, and when 
-^*- he drew it up again it contained nothing but a 
single Sprat that begged to be put back into the water. 
I'm only a little fish now," it said, " but I shall grow big 
one day, and then if you come and catch me again I 
shall be of some use to you." But the Fisherman replied, 
" Oh, no, I shall keep you now I've got you : if I put you 
back, should I ever see you again ? Not likely ! " 



THE BOASTING TRAVELLER 

A MAN once went abroad on his travels, and when 
-^^ he came home he had wonderful tales to tell of 
the things he had done in foreign countries. Among 
other things, he said he had taken part in a jumpmg- 
match at Rhodes, and had done a wonderful jump 
which no one could beat. *' Just go to Rhodes and 
ask them," he said ; " every one will tell you it's true. 
But one of those who were listening said, " If you can 
jump as well as all that, we needn't go to Rhodes to prove 
It. Let's just imagine this is Rhodes for a minute : and 
now — ^jump I " 

Deeds, not words. 



43 



THE CRAB AND HIS MOTHER 

AN old Crab said to her son, " Why do you walk 
sideways hke that, my son ? You ought to walk 
Straight." The Young Crab replied, " Show me how, 
dear mother, and I'll follow your example." The Old 
Crab tried, but tried in vam, and then saw how foolish 
she had been to find fault with her child. 

Example is better than precept. 



THE ASS AND HIS SHADOW 

A CERTAIN man hired an Ass for a journey in summer- 
^^^^ time, and started out with the owner following 
behind to drive the beast. By and by, in the heat of the 
day, they stopped to rest, and the traveller wanted to lie 
down in the Ass's Shadow; but the owner, who himself 
wished to be out of the sun, wouldn't let him do that ; 
for he said he had hired the Ass only and not his Shadow : 
the other maintained that his bargain secured him com- 
plete control of the Ass for the time being. From words 
they came to blows ; and while they were belabouring 
each other the Ass took to his heels and was soon out of 
sight. 



44 



THE CRAB AND HIS MOTHER 




-1- .-.<0 '^ cy^ X^-^ 



THE FARMER AND HIS SONS 

A FARMER, being at death's door, and desiring to 
^~^ Impart to his Sons a secret of much moment, 
called them round him and said, " My sons, I am 
shortly about to die ; I would have you know, therefore, 
that in my vineyard there lies a hidden treasure. Dig, 
and you will find it." As soon as their father was dead, 
the Sons took spade and fork and turned up the soil of 
the vineyard over and over again, in their search for the 
treasure which they supposed to he buried there. They 
found none, however : but the vines, after so thorough 
a digging, produced a crop such as had never before 
been seen. 



THE DOG AND THE COOK 

A RICH man once invited a number of his friends 
■^^^ and acquaintances to a banquet. His dog thought 
it would be a good opportunity to invite another Dog, a 
friend of his ; so he went to him and said, " My master 
is giving a feast : there'll be a fine spread, so come and 
dine with me to-night." The Dog thus invited came, and 
when he saw the preparations being made in the kitchen 
he said to himself, " My word, I'm in luck : I'll take 
care to eat enough to-night to last me two or three days. 
At the same time he wagged his tail briskly, by way or 
showing his friend how delighted he was to have been 
asked. But just then the Cook caught sight of him, and, 

45 



in his annoyance at seeing a strange Dog in the kitchen, 
caught him up by the hind legs and threw him out of the 
window. He had a nasty fall, and limped away as quickly 
as he could, howling dismally. Presently some other 
dogs met him, and said, " Well, what sort of a dinner did 
you get ? " To which he replied, " I had a splendid 
time : the wine was so good, and I drank so much of it, 
that I really don't remember how I got out of the house ! " 

Be shy of favours bestowed at the 
expense of others. 



THE MONKEY AS KING 

A T a gathering of all the animals the Monkey danced 
^~*' and delighted them so much that they m.ade him 
their King. The Fox, however, was very much disgusted 
at the promotion of the Monkey : so having one day 
found a trap with a piece of meat in it, he took the Monkey 
there and said to him, " Here is a dainty morsel I have 
found, Sire ; I did not take it myself, because I thought 
it ought to be reserved for you, our King. Will you be 
pleased to accept it ? " The Monkey made at once for 
the meat and got caught in the trap. Then he bitterly 
reproached the Fox for leading him into danger ; but the 
Fox only laughed and said, " Monkey, you call your- 
self King of the Beasts and haven't more sense than to be 
taken in like that ! " 
46 




THE THIEVES AND THE COCK 

OOME Thieves broke into a house, and tound 
^^ nothing worth taking except a Cock, which they 
seized and carried off with them. When they were pre- 
paring their supper, one of them caught up the Cock, and 
was about to wring his neck, when he cried out for mercy 
and said, " Pray do not kill me : you will find me a 
most useful bird, for I rouse honest men to their work 
in the morning by my crowing." But the Thief replied 
with some heat, " Yes, I know you do, making it still 
harder for us to get a livelihood. Into the pot you 
go! 



47 



THE FARMER AND FORTUNE 

A FARMER was ploughing one day on his farm 
■*^ ^ when he turned up a pot of golden coins with his 
plough. He was overjoyed at his discovery, and from 
that time forth made an offering daily at the shrine of 
the Goddess of the Earth. Fortune was displeased at 
this, and came to him and said, " My man, why do you 
give Earth the credit for the gift which I bestowed 
upon you ? You never thought of thanking me for your 
good luck ; but should you be unlucky enough to 
lose what you have gained I know very well that I, 
Fortune, should then come in for all the blame." 

Show gratitude where gratitude is due. 



JUPITER AND THE MONKEY 

T UPITER issued a proclamation to all the beasts, 
^ and offered a prize to the one who, in his judg- 
ment, produced the most beautiful offspring. Among 
the rest came the Monkey, carrying a baby monkey in 
her arms, a hairless, flat-nosed little fright. When 
they saw it, the gods all burst into peal on peal of 
laughter ; but the Monkey hugged her little one to her, 
and said, " Jupiter may give the prize to whomsoever 
he likes : but I shall always think my baby the most 
beautiful of them all." 
48 



FATHER AND SONS 

A CERTAIN man had several Sons who were 
■^^^ always quarrelhng with one another, and, try as 
he might, he could not get them to live together in 
harmony. So he determined to convince them of their 
folly by the following means. Bidding them fetch a 
bundle of sticks, he invited each in turn to break it across 
his knee. All tried and all failed : and then he undid 
the bundle, and handed them the sticks one by one, 
when they had no difficulty at all in breaking them. 
" There, my boys," said he, " united you will be more 
than a match for your enemies : but if you quarrel and 
separate, your weakness will put you at the mercy of 
those who attack you." 

Union is strength. 



THE LAMP 

A LAMP, well filled with oil, burned with a clear 
and steady light, and began to swell with pride 
and boast that it shone more brightly than the sun himself. 
Just then a puff of wind came and blew it out. Some one 
struck a match and lit it again, and said, " You just 
keep alight, and never mind the sun. Why, even the 
stars never need to be relit as you had to be just now." 



49 



THE OWL AND THE BIRDS 

I 'HE Owl is a very wise bird ; and once, long ago, 
^ when the first oak sprouted in the forest, she called 
all the other Birds together and said to them, " You see 
this tiny tree ? If you take my advice, you will destroy 
it now when it is small : for when it grows big, the 
mistletoe will appear upon it, from which birdlime will 
be prepared for your destruction." Again, when the first 
flax was sown, she said to them, " Go and eat up that 
seed, for it is the seed of the flax, out of which men will 
one day make nets to catch you." Once more, when she 
saw the first archer, she warned the Birds that he was their 
deadly enemy, who would wing his arrows with their 
own feathers and shoot them. But they took no notice 
of what she said : in fact, they thought she was rather 
mad, and laughed at her. When, however, everything 
turned out as she had foretold, they changed their minds 
and conceived a great respect for her wisdom. Hence, 
whenever she appears, the Birds attend upon her in the 
hope of hearing something that may be for their good. 
She, however, gives them advice no longer, but sits 
moping and pondering on the folly of her kind. 



50 




THE OWL AND THE BIRDS 




THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN 

AN Ass found a Lion's Skin, and dressed himself up 
in it. Then he went about frightening every one 
he met, for they all took him to be a lion, men and 
beasts alike, and took to their heels when they saw him 
coming. Elated by the success of his trick, he loudly 
brayed in triumph. The Fox heard him, and recognised 
him at once for the Ass he was, and said to him, " Oho, 
my friend, it's you, is it ? I, too, should have been 
afraid if I hadn't heard your voice." 



53 



THE SHE-GOATS AND THEIR BEARDS 

JUPITER granted beards to the She-Goats at their 
own request, much to the disgust of the he-Goats, 
who considered this to be an unwarrantable invasion 
of their rights and dignities. So they sent a deputation 
to him to protest against his action. He, however, 
advised them not to raise any objections. " What's 
in a tuft of hair ? " said he. " Let them have it if 
they want it. They can never be a match for you in 
strength." 



THE OLD LION 

A LION, enfeebled by age and no longer able to 
-^^^ procure food for himself by force, determined 
to do so by cunning. Betaking himself to a cave, he lay 
down inside and feigned to be sick : and whenever 
any of the other animals entered to inquire after his 
health, he sprang upon them and devoured them. Many 
lost their lives in this way, till one day a Fox called at 
the cave, and, having a suspicion of the truth, addressed 
the Lion from outside instead of going in, and asked him 
how he did. He replied that he was in a very bad way : 
" But," said he, " why do you stand outside ? Pray 
come in. ' " I should have done so," answered the 
Fox, " if I hadn't noticed that all the footprints point 
towards the cave and none the other way." 
54 



THE BOY BATHING 

A BOY was bathing In a river and got out of his depth, 
and was in great danger of being drowned. A man 
who was passing along a road hard by heard his cries for 
help, and went to the riverside and began to scold him 
for being so careless as to get into deep water, but made 
no attempt to help him. " Oh, sir," cried the Boy, 
" please help me first and scold me afterwards." 

Give assistance, not advice, in a crisis. 




55 



THE QUACK FROG 

ONCE upon a time a Frog came forth from his home 
in the marshes and proclaimed to all the world 
that he was a learned physician, skilled in drugs and able 
to cure all diseases. Among the crowd was a Fox, who 
called out, " You a doctor ! Why, how can you set up 
to heal others when you cannot even cure your own lame 
legs and blotched and wrinkled skin ? " 

Physician, heal thyself. 



THE SWOLLEN FOX 

A HUNGRY Fox found in a hollow tree a quantity 
^^~^ of bread and meat, which some shepherds had 
placed there against their return. Delighted with his 
find he slipped in through the narrow aperture and greedily 
devoured it all. But when he tried to get out again he 
found himself so swollen after his big meal that he 
could not squeeze through the hole, and fell to whining 
and groaning over his misfortune. Another Fox, hap- 
pening to pass that way, came and asked him what the 
matter was ; and, on learning the state of the case, said, 
" Well, my friend, I see nothing for it but for you to 
stay where you are till you shrink to your former size ; 
you'll get out then easily enough. " 

56 



THE QUACK FROG 



OOHl y\jf\:ji^f :iiii 



THE MOUSE, THE FROG, AND THE HAWK 

A MOUSE and a Frog struck up a friendship ; they 
were not well mated, for the Mouse lived entirely 
on land, while the Frog was equally at home on land 
or in the water. In order that they might never be 
separated, the Frog tied himself and the Mouse together 
by the leg with a piece of thread. As long as they kept 
on dry land all went fairly well ; but, coming to the edge 
of a pool, the Frog jumped in, taking the Mouse with him, 
and began swimming about and croaking with pleasure. 
The unhappy Mouse, however, was soon drowned, and 
floated about on the surface in the wake of the Frog. 
There he was spied by a Hawk, who pounced down on 
him and seized him in his talons. The Frog was unable 
to loose the knot which bound him to the Mouse, and thus 
was carried off along with him and eaten by the Hawk. 



THE BOY AND THE NETTLES 

A BOY was gathering berries from a hedge when his 
hand was stung by a Nettle. Smarting with the 
pain, he ran to tell his mother, and said to her between 
his sobs, " I only touched it ever so lightly, mother.' 
*' That's just why you got stung, my son," said she ; 
" if you had grasped it firmly, it wouldn't have hurt you 
in the least." 



57 



THE PEASANT AND THE APPLE-TREE 

A PEASANT had an Apple-tree growing in his garden, 
-^^^ which bore no fruit, but merely served to provide 
a shelter from the heat for the sparrows and grasshoppers 
which sat and chirped in its branches. Disappointed 
at its barrenness he determined to cut it down, and went 
and fetched his axe for the purpose. But when the 
sparrows and the grasshoppers saw what he was about 
to do, they begged him to spare it, and said to him, 
If you destroy the tree we shall have to seek shelter 
elsewhere, and you will no longer have our merry chirping 
to enliven your work in the garden." He, however, 
refused to listen to them, and set to work with a v/ill 
to cut through the trunk. A few strokes showed that 
it was hollow inside and contained a swarm of bees 
and a large store of honey. Delighted with his find 
he threw down his axe, saying, " The old tree is worth 
keeping after all." 

Utility is most men's test of worth. 



THE JACKDAW AND THE PIGEONS 

A JACKDAW, watching some Pigeons in a farmyard, 
-'^^ was filled with envy when he saw how well they 
were fed, and determined to disguise himseli as one of 
them, in order to secure a share of the good things they 

58 



enjoyed. So he painted himself white from head to foot 
and jomed the flock ; and, so long as he was silent, 
they never suspected that he was not a pigeon like them- 
selves. But one day he was unwise enough to start 
chattering, when they at once saw through his disguise and 
pecked him so unmercifully that he was glad to escape 
and join his own kind again. But the other jackdaws 
did not recognise him in his v/hite dress, and would not 
let him feed with them, but drove him away : and so he 
became a homeless wanderer for his pains. 



JUPITER AND THE TORTOISE 

JUPITER was about to marry a wife, and deter- 
mined to celebrate the event by inviting all the 
animals to a banquet. They all came except the 
Tortoise, who did not put in an appearance, much to 
Jupiter's surprise. So when he next saw the Tortoise he 
asked him why he had not been at the banquet. " I don't 
care for going out," said the Tortoise ; " there's no place 
like home." Jupiter was so much annoyed by this 
reply that he decreed that from that time forth the 
Tortoise should carry his house upon his back, and never 
be able to get away from home even if he wished to. 



59 




THE DOG IN THE MANGER 

A DOG was lying in a Manger on the hay which 
^^^- had been put there for the cattle, and when they 
came and tried to eat, he growled and snapped at them 
and wouldn't let them get at their food. " What a selfish 
beast," said one of them to his companions ; " he can't 
eat himself and yet he won't let those eat who can." 



THE TWO BAGS 



pVERY man carries Two Bags about with him, one 
m front and one behind, and both are packed 
full of faults. The Bag in front contains his neighbours* 
faults, the one behind his own. Hence it is that men 
do not see their own faults, but never fail to see those 
of others. 
60 



A 



THE OXEN AND THE AXLETREES 

PAIR of Oxen were drawing a heavily loaded waggon 
along the highway, and, as they tugged and strained 
at the yoke, the Axletrees creaked and groaned terribly. 
This was too much for the Oxen, who turned round 
indignantly and said, " Hullo, you there ! Why do you 
make such a noise when we do all the work ? " 

They complain most who suffer least. 



THE BOY AND THE FILBERTS 

A BOY put his hand Into a jar of Filberts, and grasped 
-^ *^ as many as his fist could possibly hold. But when 
he tried to pull it out again, he found he couldn't do so, 
for the neck of the jar was too small to allow of the 
passage of so large a handful. Unwilling to lose his nuts 
but unable to withdraw his hand, he burst into tears. A 
bystander, who saw where the trouble lay, said to him, 

' Come, my boy, don't be so greedy : be content with 
half the amount, and you'll be able to get your hand 
out without difficulty." 

Do not attempt too much at once. 



61 



THE FROGS ASKING FOR A KING 

TIME was when the Frogs were discontented because 
they had no one to rule over them : so they sent a 
deputation to Jupiter to ask him to give them a King. 
Jupiter, despising the folly of their request, cast a log into 
the pool where they lived, and said that that should be 
their King. The Frogs were terrified at first by the splash, 
and scuttled away into the deepest parts of the pool ; but 
by and by, when they saw that the log remamed motion- 
less, one by one they ventured to the surface again, and 
before long, growing bolder, they began to feel such 
contempt for it that they even took to sitting upon it. 
Thinking that a King of that sort was an insult to their 
dignity, they sent to Jupiter a second time, and begged 
him to take away the sluggish King he had given them, 
and to give them another and a better one. Jupiter, 
annoyed at being pestered in this way, sent a Stork to 
rule over them, who no sooner arrived among them than 
he began to catch and eat the Frogs as fast as he could. 



62 




THE OLIVE-TREE AND THE FIG-TREE 

A N Olive-tree taunted a Fig-tree with the loss of her 
■^^*- leaves at a certain season of the year. " You," 
she said, " lose your leaves every autumn, and are bare 
till the spring : whereas I, as you see, remain green and 
flourishing all the year round." Soon afterwards there 
came a heavy fall of snow, which settled on the leaves of 
the Olive so that she bent and broke under the weight ; 
but the flakes fell harmlessly through the bare branches 
of the Fig, which survived to bear many another crop. 



THE LION AND THE BOAR 

ONE hot and thirsty day in the height of summer a 
Lion and a Boar came down to a little spring at 
the same moment to drink. In a trice they were 
quarrelling as to who should drink first. The quarrel 
soon became a fight and they attacked one another with 
the utmost fury. Presently, stopping for a moment to 
take breath, they saw some vultures seated on a rock 
above evidently waiting for one of them to be killed, 
when they would fly down and feed upon the carcase. 
The sight sobered them at once, and they made up 
their quarrel, saying, " We had much better be friends 
than fight and be eaten by vultures." 



65 



THE WALNUT-TREE 

A WALNUT-TREE, which grew by the roadside, 
bore every year a plentiful crop of nuts. Every 
one who passed by pelted Its branches with sticks and 
stones, in order to bring down the fruit, and the tree 
suffered severely. " It is hard," it cried, " that the 
very persons who enjoy my fruit should thus reward 
me with insults and blows." 



THE MAN AND THE LION 

A MAN and a Lion were companions on a journey, 
^ ^ and in the course of conversation they began 
to boast about their prowess, and each claimed to be 
superior to the other in strength and courage. They 
were still arguing with some heat when they came to a 
cross-road where there was a statue of a Man strangling 
a Lion. " There ! " said the Man triumphantly, " look 
at that ! Doesn't that prove to you that we are stronger 
than you? " " Not so fast, my friend," said the Lion : 
that is only your view of the case. If we Lions could 
make statues, you may be sure that in most of them you 
would see the Man underneath." 

There are two sides to every question, 
66 



THE TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE 

A TORTOISE, discontented with his lowly life, and 
-^^^ envious of the birds he saw disporting themselves 
In the air, begged an Eagle to teach him to fly. The 
Eagle protested that it was idle for him to try, as nature 
had not provided him with wings ; but the Tortoise 
pressed him with entreaties and promises of treasure, 
insisting that it could only be a question of learning the 
craft of the air. So at length the Eagle consented to do 
the best he could for him, and picked him up in his 
talons. Soaring with him to a great height in the sky 
he then let him go, and the wretched Tortoise fell 
headlong and was dashed to pieces on a rock. 



THE KID ON THE HOUSETOP 

A KID climbed up on to the roof of an outhouse, 
attracted by the grass and other things that grew 
in the thatch ; and as he stood there browsing away, he 
caught sight of a Wolf passing below, and jeered at him 
because he couldn't reach him. The Wolf only looked 
up and said, " I hear you, my young friend ; but it is 
not you who mock me, but the roof on which you are 
standing." 



67 




THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL 

A FOX once fell into a trap, and after a struggle 
^^^ managed to get free, but with the loss of his 
brush. He was then so much ashamed of his appearance 
that he thought life was not worth living unless he could 
persuade the other Foxes to part with their tails also, and 
thus divert attention from his own loss. So he called 
a meeting of all the Foxes, and advised them to cut off 
their tails : " They're ugly things anyhow, ' he said, 
" and besides they're heavy, and it's tiresome to be 
always carrying them about with you." But one of the 
other Foxes said, " My friend, if you hadn't lost your 
own tail, you wouldn't be so keen on getting us to cut 
off ours." 



THE VAIN JACKDAW 

JUPITER announced that he intended to appoint 
a king over the birds, and named a day on which 
they were to appear before his throne, when he would 
68 



select the most beautiful of them all to be their ruler. 
Wishing to look their best on the occasion they repaired 
to the banks of a stream, where they busied themselves 
in washing and preening their feathers. The Jackdaw 
was there along with the rest, and realised that, with 
his ugly plumage, he would have no chance of being 
chosen as he was : so he waited till they were all gone, 
and then picked up the most gaudy of the feathers they 
had dropped, and fastened them about his own body, 
with the result that he looked gayer than any of them. 
When the appointed day came, the birds assembled 
before Jupiter's throne ; and, after passing them in 
review, he was about to make the Jackdaw king, when all 
the rest set upon the king-elect, stripped him of his 
borrowed plumes, and exposed him for the Jackdaw that 
he was. 



THE TRAVELLER AND HIS DOG 

A TRAVELLER was about to start on a journey, 
-^^- and said to his Dog, who was stretching himself 
by the door, " Come, what are you yawning for ? Hurry 
up and get ready : I mean you to go with me." But the 
Dog merely wagged his tail and said quietly, '* I'm ready, 
master : it's you I'm waiting for." 



69 



THE SHIPWRECKED MAN AND THE SEA 

A SHIPWRECKED MAN cast up on the beach 
^~^ fell asleep after his struggle with the waves. 
When he woke up, he bitterly reproached the Sea for 
its treachery in enticing men with its smooth and smiling 
surface, and then, when they . were well embarked, 
turning in fury upon them and sending both ship and 
sailors to destruction. The Sea arose in the form of a 
woman, and replied, " Lay not the blame on me, O 
sailor, but on the Winds. By nature I am as calm and 
safe as the land itself : but the Winds fall upon me with 
their gusts and gales, and lash me into a fury that is not 
natural to me." 



THE WILD BOAR AND THE FOX 

A WILD BOAR was engaged in whetting his tusks 
^^^ upon the trunk of a tree in the forest when a 
Fox came by and, seeing what he was at, said to him, 
" Why are you doing that, pray ? The huntsmen are 
not out to-day, and there are no other dangers at hand 
that I can see." " True, my friend," replied the Boar, 
*' but the instant my life is in danger I shall need to use 
my tusks. There'll be no time to sharpen them then." 



70 



THE SHIPWRECKED MAN AND THE SEA 



m5:rcury and the sculptor 

]\ yr ERCURY was very anxious to know in what esli- 
^^ ^ mation he was held by mankind ; so he disguised 
himself as a man and walked into a Sculptor's studio, 
where there were a number of statues finished and ready 
for sale. Seeing a statue of Jupiter among the rest, he 
inquired the price of it. " A crown," said the Sculptor. 
Is that all ? " said he, laughing ; " and " (pointing to 
one of Juno) " how much is that one ? " " That," 
was the reply, " is half a crown." " And how much 
might you be wanting for that one over there, now? " 
he continued, pointing to a statue of himself. " That 
one? " said the Sculptor ; " Oh, I'll throw him in for 
nothing if you'll buy the other two." 



THE FAWN AND HIS MOTHER 

A HIND said to her Fawn, who was now well grown 
-^^ and strong, " My son, Nature has given you a 
powerful body and a stout pair of horns, and I can't think 
why you are such a coward as to run away from the 
hounds." Just then they both heard the sound of a pack 
in full cry, but at a considerable distance. " You stay 
where you are," said the Hind ; " never mind me " : 
and with that she ran off as fast as her legs could 
carry her. 

71 




THE FOX AND THE LION 

A FOX who had never seen a Lion one day met one, 
^^^ and was so terrified at the sight of him that he 
was ready to die with fear. After a time he met him 
again, and was still rather frightened, but not nearly so 
much as he had been when he met him first. But 
when he saw him for the third time he was so far from 
being afraid that he went up to him and began to talk 
to him as if he had known him all his life. 



72 




THE EAGLE AND HIS CAPTOR 

A MAN once caught an Eagle, and after clipping his 
■^ *- wings turned him loose among the fowls in his 
hen-house, where he moped in a corner, looking very 
dejected and forlorn. After a while his Captor was 
glad enough to sell him to a neighbour, who took him 
home and let his wings grow again. As soon as he 
had recovered the use of them, the Eagle flew out and 
caught a hare, which he brought home and presented 
to his benefactor. A fox observed this, and said to 
the Eagle, "Don't waste your gifts on him! Go and 
give them to the man who first caught you ; make 
him your friend, and then perhaps he won't catch you 
and clip your wings a second time." 



THE BLACKSMITH AND HIS DOG 

A BLACKSMITH had a little Dog, which used to 
sleep when his master was at work, but was 
very wide awake indeed when it was time for meals. 
One day his master pretended to be disgusted at this, 
and when he had thrown him a bone as usual, he 
said, " What on earth is the good of a lazy cur like 
you ? When I am hammering away at my anvil, 
you ]ust curl up and go to sleep : but no sooner do I 

k 73 



stop for a mouthful of food than you wake up and 
wag your tail to be fed. " 

Those who will not work deserve to 
starve. 



THE STAG AT THE POOL 

A THIRSTY Stag went down to a pool to drink. 
-^^^ As he bent over the surface he saw his own reflec- 
tion in the water, and was struck with admiration for his 
fine spreading antlers, but at the same time he felt 
nothing but disgust for the weakness and slenderness 
of his legs. While he stood there looking at himself, he 
was seen and attacked by a Lion ; but in the chase 
which ensued, he soon drew away from his pursuer, 
and kept his lead as long as the ground over which he ran 
was open and free of trees. But coming presently to a 
wood, he was caught by his antlers in the branches, and 
fell a victim to the teeth and claws of his enemy. " Woe 
is me ! " he cried with his last breath ; " I despised my 
legs, which might have saved my life : but I gloried 
in my horns, and they have proved my ruin.'* 

What is worth most is often valued 
least. 



74 




THE DOG AND THE SHADOW 

A DOG was crossing a plank bridge over a stream with 
^ ^^ a piece of meat in his mouth, when he happened 
to see his own reflection in the water. He thought it 
was another dog with a piece of meat twice as big ; so 
he let go his own, and flew at the other dog to get the 
larger piece. But, of course, all that happened was that 
he got neither : for one was only a shadow, and the other 
was carried away by the current 

75 



MERCURY AND THE TRADESMEN 

WHEN Jupiter was creating man, he told Mercury 
to make an infusion of lies, and to add a little 
of it to the other ingredients which went to the making 
of the Tradesmen. Mercury did so, and introduced an 
equal amount into each in turn — the tallow-chandler, 
and the greengrocer, and the haberdasher, and all, till 
he came to the horse-dealer, who was last on the list, 
when, finding that he had a quantity of the infusion still 
left, he put it all into him. This is why all Tradesmen 
lie more or less, but they none of them lie like a horse- 
dealer. 



THE MICE AND THE WEASELS 

' I 'HERE was war between the Mice and the Weasels, 
^ in which the Mice always got the worst of it, 
numbers of them being killed and eaten by the Weasels. 
So they called a council of war, in which an old Mouse 
got up and said, " It's no wonder we are always beaten, 
for we have no generals to plan our battles and direct 
our movements in the field." Acting on his advice, 
they chose the biggest Mice to be their leaders, and 
these, in order to be distinguished from the rank and file, 
provided themselves with helmets bearing large plumes 
of straw. They then led out the Mice to battle, confident 
of victory : but they were defeated as usual, and were 

76 



soon scampering as fast as they could to their holes. 
All made their way to safety without difficulty except 
the leaders, who were so hampered by the badges of 
their rank that they could not get into their holes, and fell 
easy victims to their pursuers. 

Greatness carries its own penalties. 



THE PEACOCK AND JUNO 

THE Peacock was greatly discontented because he 
had not a beautiful voice like the nightingale, 
and he went and complained to Juno about it. " The 
nightingale's song," said he, " is the envy of all the 
birds; but whenever I utter a sound I become a laughing- 
stock." The goddess tried to console him by saying, 
" You have not, it is true, the power of song, but then 
you far excel all the rest in beauty : your neck flashes 
like the emerald and your splendid tail is a marvel of 
gorgeous colour." But the Peacock was not appeased. 
" What is the use," said he, " of being beautiful, with a 
voice like mine?" Then Juno replied, with a shade of 
sternness in her tones, " Fate has allotted to all their 
destined gifts : to yourself beauty, to the eagle strength, 
to the nightingale song, and so on to all the rest in their 
degree ; but you alone are dissatisfied with your portion. 
Make, then, no more complaints : for, if your present 
wish were granted, you would quickly find cause for 
fresh discontent." 

n 



THE BEAR AND THE FOX 

A BEAR was once bragging about his generous 
-^ *■ feelings, and saying how refined he was compared 
with other animals. (There is, in fact, a tradition that 
a Bear will never touch a dead body.) A Fox, who 
heard him talking in this strain, smiled and said, " My 
friend, when you are hungry, I only wish you would 
confine your attention to the dead and leave the living 
alone." 

A hypocrite deceives no one but 
himself. 



THE ASS AND THE OLD PEASANT 

A N old Peasant was sitting in a meadow watching 
^ his Ass, which was grazing close by, when all of a 
sudden he caught sight of armed men stealthily approach- 
ing. He jumped up in a moment, and begged the Ass to 
fly with him as fast as he could, " Or else," said he, " we 
shall both be captured by the enemy." But the Ass just 
looked round lazily and said, " And if so, do you think 
they'll make me carry heavier loads than I have to now ? " 
" No," said his master. " Oh, well, then," said the Ass, 
I don't mind if they do take me, for I shan't be any 
worse off." 



78 




THE BEAR AND THE FOX 




THE OX AND THE FROG 



I 'WO little Frogs were playing about at the edge of 
^ a pool when an Ox came down to the water to 
drink, and by accident trod on one of them and crushed 
the life out of him. When the old Frog missed him, 
she asked his brother where he was. " He is dead, 
mother," said the little Frog ; " an enormous big creature 
with four legs came to our pool this morning and trampled 
him down in the mud." " Enormous, was he ? Was he 
as big as this ? " said the Frog, puffing herself out to 
look as big as possible. " Oh ! yes, much bigger," was 
the answer. The Frog puffed herself out still more. 

1 81 



*' Was he as big as this ? " said she. " Oh ! yes, yes, 
mother, MUCH bigger," said the Httle Frog. And yet 
again she puffed and puffed herself out till she was almost 
as round as a ball. " As big as . . . ? " she began — but 
then she burst. 



THE MAN AND THE IMAGE 

A POOR Man had a wooden Image of a god, to which 
he used to -pray daily for riches. He did this for a 
long time, but remained as poor as ever, till one day he 
caught up the Image in disgust and hurled it with all 
his strength against the wall. The force of the blow 
split open the head and a quantity of gold coins fell 
out upon the floor. The Man gathered them up greedily, 
and said, " O you old fraud, you ! When I honoured you, 
you did me no good whatever : but no sooner do I 
treat you to insults and violence than you make a rich 
man of me ! " 



HERCULES AND THE WAGGONER 

A WAGGONER was driving his team along a muddy 
lane with a full load behind them, when the 
wheels of his waggon sank so deep in the mire that no 
efforts of his horses could move them. As he stood 

82 



there, looking helplessly on, and calling loudly at Intervals 
upon Hercules for assistance, the god himself appeared, 
and said to him, " Put your shoulder to the wheel, man, 
and goad on your horses, and then you may call on 
Hercules to assist you. If you won't lift a finger to 
help yourself, you can't expect Hercules or any one 
else to come to your aid. 

Heaven helps those who help them- 
selves. 



THE POMEGRANATE, THE APPLE-TREE. AND 
THE BRAMBLE 

A POMEGRANATE and an Apple-tree were disputing 
about the quality of their fruits, and each claimed 
that its own was the better of the two. High words 
passed between them, and a violent quarrel was immi- 
nent, when a Bramble impudently poked its head out of 
a neighbouring hedge and said, " There, that's enough, 
my friends ; don't let us quarrel." 



THE LION, THE BEAR, AND THE FOX 

A LION and a Bear were fighting for possession of 
-^^^ a kid, which they had both seized at the same 
moment. The battle was long and fierce, and at length 

83 



both of them were exhausted, and lay upon the ground 
severely wounded and gasping for breath. A Fox had 
all the time been prowhng round and watchmg the fight : 
and when he saw the combatants lymg there too weak to 
move, he slipped m and seized the kid, and ran off with 
it. They looked on helplessly, and one said to the other, 
" Here we've been mauling each other all this while, and 
no one the better for it except the Fox ! " 



THE BLACKAMOOR 

A MAN once bought an Ethiopian slave, who had a 
black skin like all Ethiopians ; but his new master 
thought his colour was due to his late owner's having 
neglected him, and that all he wanted was a good scrub- 
bing. So he set to work with plenty of soap and hot 
water, and rubbed away at him with a will, but all to no 
purpose : his skin remained as black as ever, while the 
poor wretch all but died from the cold he caught. 



THE TWO SOLDIERS AND THE ROBBER 

' I 'WO Soldiers travelling together were set upon by 

^ a Robber. One of them ran away, but the other 

stood his ground, and laid about him so lustily with his 

sword that the Robber was fain to fly and leave him in 

84 



THE BLACKAMOOR 



peace. When the coast was clear the timid one ran back, 
and, flourishing his weapon, cried in a threatening voice, 
" Where is he ? Let me get at him, and I'll soon let 
him know whom he's got to deal with." But the other 
replied, " You are a httle late, my friend : I only wisk 
you had backed me up just now, even if you had done 
no more than speak, for I should have been encouraged, 
believing your words to be true. As it is, calm yourself, 
and put up your sword : there is no further use for it. 
You may delude others into thinking you're as brave as 
a lion : but I know that, at the first sign of danger, you 
run away like a hare," 



THE LION AND THE WILD ASS 

A LION and a Wild Ass went out hunting together : 
the latter was to run down the prey by his superior 
speed, . id the former would then come up and despatch 
it. They met with great success ; and when it came to 
sharing the spoil the Lion divided it all into three equal 
portions. " I will take the first," said he, " because I 
am King of the beasts ; I will also take the second, 
because, as yoCir partner, I am entitled to half of what 
remains ; and as for the third — well, unless you give it 
up to me and take yourself off pretty quick, the third, 
believe me, will make you feel very sorry for yourself ! " 

Might makes right. 

85 




^X,,^MtJ\v^. ip,. 



THE MAN AND THE SATYR 

A MAN and a Satyr became friends, and determined 
-^*- to live together. All went well for a while, until 
one day in winter-time the Satyr saw the Man blowing 
on his hands. *' Why do you do that ? " he asked. " To 
warm my hands," said the Man. That same day, when 
they sat down to supper together, they each had a steaming 

86 




hot bowl of porridge, and the Man raised his bowl to 
his mouth and blew on it. " Why do you do that ? " 
asked the Satyr. " To cool my porridge," said the 
Man. The Satyr got up from the table. " Good-bye," 
said he, " I'm gomg : I can't be friends with a man 
who blows hot and cold with the same breath." 

87 



THE IMAGE-SELLER 

A CERTAIN man made a wooden Image of Mercury, 
and exposed it for sale m the market. As no one 
offered to buy it, however, he thought he would try to 
attract a purchaser by proclaiming the virtues of the 
Image. So he cried up and down the market, "A god 
for sale ! a god for sale ! One who'll bring you luck 
and keep you lucky ! " Presently one of the bystanders 
stopped him and said, " If your god is all you make him 
out to be, how is it you don't keep him and make the 
most of him yourself? " " I'll tell you why, " replied 
he ; " he brings gain, it is true, but he takes his time 
about it ; whereas I want money at once." 



THE EAGLE AND THE ARROW 

A N Eagle sat perched on a lofty rock, keeping a sharp 
-^^ look-out for prey. A huntsman, concealed in a 
cleft of the mountain and on the watch for game, spied 
him there and shot an Arrow at him. The shaft struck 
him full in the breast and pierced him through and 
through. As he lay in the agonies of death, he turned 
his eyes upon the Arrow. " Ah ! cruel fate ! " he cried, 
" that I should perish thus : but oh ! fate more cruel still, 
that the Arrow which kills me should be winged with an 
Eagle's feathers ! " 
88 



THE RICH MAN AND THE TANNER 

A RICH MAN took up his residence next door to 
a Tanner, and found the smell of the tan-yard 
so extremely unpleasant that he told him he must go. 
The Tanner delayed his departure, and the Rich Man 
had to speak to him several times about it ; and every 
time the Tanner said he was making arrangements to 
move very shortly. This went on for some time, till at 
last the Rich Man got so used to the smell that he ceased 
to mind it, and troubled the Tanner with his objections 
no more. 



THE WOLF, THE MOTHER, AND HER CHILD 

A HUNGRY Wolf was prowling about in search of 
^^^ food. By and by, attracted by the cries of a 
Child, he came to a cottage. As he crouched beneath 
the window, he heard the Mother say to the Child, 
" Stop crying, do ! or I'll throw you to the Wolf." 
Thinking she really meant what she said, he waited there 
a long time in the expectation of satisfying his hunger. 
In the evening he heard the Mother fondling her Child 
and saying, " If the naughty Wolf comes, he shan't 
get my little one : Daddy will kill him." The Wolf 
got up m much disgust and walked away : "As for the 
people in that house," said he to himself, " you can't 
believe a word they say." 

m 89 



THE OLD WOMAN AND THE WINE-JAR 

AN old Woman picked up an empty Wine-jar which 
had once contained a rare and costly wine, and 
which still retained some traces of its exquisite bouquet. 
She raised it to her nose and sniffed at it again and 
again. "Ah," she cried," how delicious must have been 
the liquid which has left behind so ravishing a smell." 



90 




THE LIONESS AND THE VIXEN 

A LIONESS and a Vixen were talking together about 
-^^^ their young, as mothers will, and saying how 
healthy and well-grown they were, and what beautiful 
coats they had, and how they were the image of their 
parents. " My litter of cubs is a joy to see," said the 
Fox ; and then she added, rather maliciously, " But I 
notice you never have more than one." " No," said the 
Lioness grimly, " but that one's a lion." 

Quality, not quantity. 



THE VIPER AND THE FILE 

A VIPER entered a carpenter's shop, and went 
■*^^ from one to another of the tools, begging for 
something to eat. Among the rest, he addressed himself 
to the File, and asked for the favour of a meal. The 
File replied in a tone of pitying contempt, " What a 
simpleton you must be if you imagine you will get any- 
thing from me, who invariably take from every one and 
never give anything in return. " 

The covetous are poor givers. 



91 



THE CAT AND THE COCK 

A CAT pounced on a Cock, and cast about for some 
'^^^ good excuse for making a meal off him, for Cats 
don't as a rule eat Cocks, and she knew she ought not 
to. At last she said, " You make a great nuisance of 
yourself at night by crowing and keeping people awake : 
so I am going to make an end of you." But the Cock 
defended himself by saying that he crowed in order that 
men might wake up and set about the day's work in 
good time, and that they really couldn't very well do 
without him. " That may be," said the Cat, " but 
whether they can or not, I'm not going without my 
dinner " ; and she killed and ate him. 

The want of a good excuse never kept 
a villain from crime. 



THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE 

A HARE was one day making fun of a Tortoise for 
-^^ being so slow upon his feet. " Wait a bit," said 
the Tortoise ; " I'll run a race with you, and I'll wager 
that I win." " Oh, well," replied the Hare, who was 
much amused at the idea, " let's try and see " ; and it 
was soon agreed that the fox should set a course for them, 
and be the judge. When the time came both started off 
together, but the Hare was soon so far ahead that he 

92 






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thought he might as well have a rest : so down he 
lay and fell fast asleep. Meanwhile the Tortoise kept 
plodding on, and in time reached the goal. At last the 
Hare woke up with a start, and dashed on at his fastest, 
but only to find that the Tortoise had already won the 
race. 

Slow and steady wms the race. 



THE SOLDIER AND HIS HORSE 

A SOLDIER gave his Horse a plentiful supply of 
oats in time of war, and tended him with the 
utmost care, for he wished him to be strong to endure 
the hardships of the field, and swift to bear his master, 
when need arose, out of the reach of danger. But when 
the war was over he employed him on all sorts of drudgery, 
bestowing but little attention upon him, and giving him, 
moreover, nothing but chaff to eat. The time came when 
war broke out again, and the Soldier saddled and bridled 
his Horse, and, having put on his heavy coat of mail, 
mounted him to ride off and take the field. But the poor 
half-starved beast sank down under his weight, and said 
to his rider, " You will have to go into battle on foot this 
time. Thanks to hard work and bad food, you have 
turned me from a Horse into an ass ; and you cannot 
in a moment turn me back again into a Horse. 



95 



THE OXEN AND THE BUTCHERS 

ONCE upon a time the Oxen determined to be 
revenged upon the Butchers for the havoc they 
wrought m their ranks, and plotted to put them to death 
on a given day. They were all gathered together dis- 
cussing how best to carry out the plan, and the more 
violent of them were engaged in sharpening their horns 
for the fray, when an old Ox got up upon his feeL and said, 
*' My brothers, you have good reason, I know, to hate 
these Butchers, but, at any rate, they understand their 
trade and do what they have to do without causing 
unnecessary pain. But if we kill them, others, who 
have no experience, will be set to slaughter us, and will 
by their bungling inflict great sufferings upon us. For you 
may be sure that, even though all the Butchers perish, 
mankind will never go without their beef." 



THE WOLF AND THE LION 

A WOLF stole a lamb from the flock, and was carrying 
it off to devour it at his leisure when he met a 
Lion, who took his prey away from him and walked off 
with it. He dared not resist, but when the Lion had 
gone some distance he said, " It is most unjust of you 
to take what's mine away from me like that." The Lion 
laughed and called out in reply, " It was justly yours, 
no doubt ! The gift of a friend, perhaps, eh? " 
96 



V 



THE SHEEP, 
THE WOLF, 
AND THE STAG 



IWN 



A STAG once asked a Sheep to lend him a measure 
of wheat, saymg that his friend the Wolf would 
be his surety. The Sheep, however, was afraid that 
they meant to cheat her ; so she excused herself, saymg, 
" The Wolf is m the habit of seizing what he wants and 
running off with it without paying, and you, too, can run 
much faster than I. So how shall I be able to come up 
with either of you when the debt falls due ? '* 

Two blacks do not make a white. 




97 



THE LION AND THE THREE BULLS 

' I 'HREE Bulls were grazing in a meadow, and were 
^ watched by a Lion, who longed to capture and 
devour them, but who felt that he was no match for the 
three so long as they kept together. So he began by 
false whispers and malicious hints to foment jealousies 
and distrust among them. This stratagem succeeded 
so well that ere long the Bulls grew cold and unfriendly, 
and finally avoided each other and fed each one by himself 
apart. No sooner did the Lion see this than he fell upon 
them one by one and killed them in turn. 

The quarrels of friends are the oppor- 
tunities of foes. 



THE HORSE AND HIS RIDER 

A YOUNG Man, who fancied himself something of a 
horseman, mounted a Horse which had not been 
properly broken in, and was exceedingly difficult to 
control. No sooner did the Horse feel his weight in the 
saddle than he bolted, and nothing would stop him. A 
friend of the Rider's met him in the road in his headlong 
career, and called out, " Where are you off to in such a 
hurry ? " To which he, pointing to the Horse, replied, 
I've no idea : ask him." 



98 




THE GOAT AND THE VINE 

A GOAT was straying in a vineyard, and began to 
^*- browse on the tender shoots of a Vine which 
bore several fine bunches of grapes. " What have I 
done to you," said the Vine, " that you should harm me 
thus ? Isn't there grass enough for you to feed on ? 
All the same, even if you eat up every leaf I have, 
and leave me quite bare, I shall produce wine enough 
to pour over you when you are led to the altar to be 
sacrificed." 



99 



THE TWO POTS 

' I 'WO Pots, one of earthenware and the other of brass, 
^ were carried away down a river in flood. The Brazen 
Pot urged his companion to keep close by his side, and he 
would protect him. The other thanked him, but begged 
him not to come near him on any account : " For that," 
he said, " is just what I am most afraid of. One touch 
from you and I should be broken in pieces." 

Equals make the best friends. 



THE OLD HOUND 

A HOUND who had served his master well for years, 
-^^' and had run down many a quarry in his time, 
began to lose his strength and speed owing to age. 
One day, when out hunting, his master started a powerful 
wild boar and set the Hound at him. The latter seized 
the beast by the ear, but his teeth were gone and he could 
not retain his hold; so the boar escaped. His master 
began to scold him severely, but the Hound interrupted 
him with these words : " My will is as strong as ever, 
master, but my body is old and feeble. You ought to 
honour me for what I have been instead of abusing me 
for what I am." 



100 



THE TWO POTS 



THE CLOWN AND THE COUNTRYMAN 

A NOBLEMAN announced his intention of giving a 
^^^ public entertainment in the theatre, and offered 
splendid prizes to all who had any novelty to exhibit 
at the performance. The announcement attracted a 
crowd of conjurers, jugglers, and acrobats, and among 
the rest a Clown, very popular with the crowd, who let 
it be known that he was going to give an entirely new 
turn. When the day of the performance came, the 
theatre was filled from top to bottom some time before 
the entertainment began. Several performers exhibited 
their tricks, and then the popular favourite came on 
empty-handed and alone. At once there was a hush of 
expectation : and he, letting his head fall upon his breast, 
imitated the squeak of a pig to such perfection that the 
audience msisted on his producing the animal, which, 
they said, he must have somewhere concealed about his 
person. He, however, convinced them that there was no 
pig there, and then the applause was deafening. Among 
the spectators was a Countryman, who disparaged the 
Clown's performance and announced that he would give 
a much superior exhibition of the same trick on the 
following day. Again the theatre was filled to over- 
flowing, and again the Clown gave his imitation amidst 
the cheers of the crowd. The Countryman, meanwhile, 
before going on the stage, had secreted a young porker 
under his smock ; and when the spectators derisively 
bade him do better if he could, he gave it a pinch in 
the ear and made it squeal loudly. But they all with 

101 



one voice shouted out that the Clown's imitation was much 
more true to Hfe. Thereupon he produced the pig from 
under his smock and said sarcastically, " There, that 
shows what sort of judges you are ! " 



THE LARK AND THE FARMER 

A LARK nested in a field of corn, and was rearing her 
brood under cover of the ripening gram. One 
day, before the young were fully fledged, the Farmer came 
to look at the crop, and, finding it yellowing fast, he said, 
" I must send round word to my neighbours to come 
and help me reap this field." One of the young Larks 
overheard him, and was very much frightened, and asked 
her mother whether they hadn't better move house at 
once. " There's no hurry," replied she ; " a man who 
looks to his friends for help will take his time about a 
thing." In a few days the Farmer came by again, and 
saw that the grain was overripe and falling out of the 
ears upon the ground. " I must put it off no longer, 
he said ; " this very day I'll hire the men and set them to 
work at once." The Lark heard him and said to her 
young, " Come, my children, we must be off : he talks 
no more of his friends now, but is going to take 
things in hand himself." 

Self-help is the best help. 

102 



THE LION AND THE ASS 

A LION and an Ass set up as partners and went 
'^~^ a-hunting together. In course of time they came 
to a cave m which there were a number of wild goats. 
The Lion took up his stand at the mouth of the cave, 
and waited for them to come out ; v/hile the Ass went 
inside and brayed for all he was worth m order to frighten 
them out into the open. 1 he Lion struck them down 
one by one as they appeared ; and when the cave was 
empty the Ass came out and said, " Well, I scared them 
pretty well, didn't I ? " "I should think you did," 
said the Lion : " why, if I hadn't known you were 
an Ass, I should have turned and run myself." 



THE PROPHET 

A PROPHET sat in the market-place and told the 
^^^^ fortunes of all who cared to engage his services. 
Suddenly there came running up one who told him that 
his house had been broken into by thieves, and that they 
had made off with everything they could lay hands on. 
He was up in a moment, and rushed off, tearing his 
hair and calling down curses on the miscreants. The 
bystanders were much amused, and one of them said, 

' Our friend professes to know what is going to happen 
to others, but it seems he's not clever enough to perceive 
what's in store for himself." 

103 




THE HOUND AND THE HARE 

A YOUNG Hound started a Hare, and, when he caught 
her up, would at one moment snap at her with his 
teeth as though he were about to kill her, while at another 
he would let go his hold and frisk about her, as if he were 
playing with another dog. At last the Hare said, " I 
wish you would show yourself in your true colours ! 
If you are my friend, why do you bite me? If you are 
my enemy, why do you play with me ? " 

He is no friend who plays double. 



104 



THE LION, THE MOUSE, AND THE FOX 

A LION was lying asleep at the mouth of his den 
-^^^ when a Mouse ran over his back and tickled him 
so that he woke up with a start and began looking about 
everywhere to see what it was that had disturbed him. A 
Fox, who was looking on, thought he would have a joke 
at the expense of the Lion ; so he said, " Well, this is 
the first time I've seen a Lion afraid of a Mouse." " Afraid 
of a Mouse? " said the Lion testily : " not I ! It's his 
bad manners I can't stand. " 



THE TRUMPETER TAKEN PRISONER 

A TRUMPETER marched into battle in the van of the 
^^^^ army and put courage into his comrades by his 
warlike tunes. Being captured by the enemy, he begged 
for his life, and said, " Do not put me to death ; I have 
killed no one : indeed, I have no weapons, but carry with 
me only my trumpet here. " But his captors replied, 
" That is only the more reason why we should take your 
life ; for, though you do not fight yourself, you stir up 
others to do so." 



105 



THE WOLF AND THE CRANE 

A WOLF once got a bone stuck In his throat. So he 
went to a Crane and begged her to put her long 
bill down his throat and pull it out. " I'll make it worth 
your while," he added. The Crane did as she was asked, 
and got the bone out quite easily. The Wolf thanked her 
warmly, and was just turning away, when she cried, 
" What about that fee of mine ? " " Well, what about 
it ? " snapped the Wolf, baring his teeth as he spoke ; 
" you can go about boasting that you once put your head 
into a Wolf's mouth and didn't get it bitten off. What 
more do you want ? " 



THE EAGLE, THE CAT, AND THE WILD SOW 

AN Eagle built her nest at the top of a high tree ; 
a Cat with her family occupied a hollow in the 
trunk half-way down ; and a Wild Sow and her young 
took up their quarters at the foot. They might have 
got on very well as neighbours had it not been for the 
evil cunning of the Cat. Climbing up to the Eagle's 
nest she said to the Eagle, " You and I are in the greatest 
possible danger. That dreadful creature, the Sow, who 
is always to be seen grubbing away at the foot of the tree, 
means to uproot it, that she may devour your family 
and mine at her ease." Having thus driven the Eagle 
almost out of her senses with terror, the Cat climbed 
106 




THE WOLF AND THE CRANE 



down the tree, and said to the Sow, " I must warn you 
against that dreadful bird, the Eagle. She is only waiting 
her chance to fly down and carry off one of your little 
pigs when you take them out, to feed her brood with." 
She succeeded in frightening the Sow as much as the 
Eagle. Then she returned to her hole in the trunk, 
from which, feigning to be afraid, she never came forth 
by day. Only by night did she creep out unseen to 
procure food for her kittens. The Eagle meanwhile 
was afraid to stir from her nest, and the Sow dared not 
leave her home among the roots : so that in time both they 
and their families perished of hunger, and their dead 
bodies supplied the Cat with ample food for her growing 
family. 



THE WOLF AND THE SHEEP 

A WOLF was worried and badly bitten by dogs, and 
^^*- lay a long time for dead. By and by he began 
to revive, and, feeling very hungry, called out to a passing 
Sheep and said, " Would you kindly bring me some water 
from the stream close by ? I can manage about meat, if 
only I could get something to drink." But this Sheep was 
no fool. " I can quite understand," said he, " that if I 
brought you the water, you would have no difficulty 
about the meat. Good-morning." 



109 



THE TUNNY-FISH AND THE DOLPHIN 

A TUNNY-FISH was chased by a Dolphin and 
splashed through the water at a great rate, but the 
Dolphin gradually gained upon him, and was just about 
to seize him when the force of his flight carried the 
Tunny on to a sandbank. In the heat of the chase 
th? Dolphin followed him, and there they both lay out 
of the water, gasping for dear life. When the Tunny saw 
that his enemy was doomed like himself, he said, " I 
don't mind having to die now : for I see that he who 
13 the cause of my death Is about to share the same 
fate." 



THE THREE TRADESMEN 

' I 'HE citizens of a certain city were debating about 
^ the best material to use In the fortifications which 
were about to be erected for the greater security of the 
town. A Carpenter got up and advised the use of wood, 
which he said was readily procurable and easily worked. 
A Stone-mason objected to wood on the ground that It 
was so inflammable, and recommended stones instead. 
Then a Tanner got on his legs and said, " In my opinion 
there's nothing like leather." 

Every man for himself. 

110 



THE MOUSE AND THE BULL 

A BULL gave chase to a Mouse which had bitten him 
'^~^ in the nose : but the Mouse was too quick for him 
and slipped into a hole in a wall. The Bull charged 
furiously into the wall again and again until he was 
tired out, and sank down on the ground exhausted with 
his efforts. When all was quiet, the Mouse darted out 
and bit him again. Beside himself with rage he started 
to his feet, but by that time the Mouse was back in his 
hole again, and he could do nothing but bellow and fume 
in helpless anger. Presently he heard a shrill little voice 
say from inside the wall, " You big fellows don't always 
have it your own way, you see : sometimes we little 
ones come off best." 

The battle is not always to the strong. 



THE HARE AND THE HOUND 

A HOUND started a Hare from her form, and pursued 
^~^ her for some distance ; but as she gradually 
gained upon him, he gave up the chase. A rustic who 
had seen the race met the Hound as he was returning, 
and taunted him with his defeat. " The little one was 
too much for you," said he. " Ah, well," said the Hound, 
" don't forget it's one thing to be running for your dinner, 
but quite another to be running for your life. " 

111 




THE TOWN MOUSE AND THE COUNTRY 

MOUSE 

A TOWN MOUSE and a Country Mouse were 
'^*- acquaintances, and the Country Mouse one day 
invited his friend to come and see him at his home In 
the fields. The Town Mouse came, and they sat down 
to a dinner of barleycorns and roots, the latter of which 
had a distinctly earthy flavour. The fare was not much 
to the taste of the guest, and presently he broke out with 
" My poor dear friend, you live here no better than the 
ants. Now, you should just see how I fare ! My 
larder is a regular horn of plenty. You must come and 
stay with me, and I promise you you shall live on the 
fat of the land." So when he returned to town he took 
the Country Mouse with him, and showed him Into a 
larder containing flour and oatmeal and figs and honey 
and dates. The Country Mouse had never seen anything 
like it, and sat down to enjoy the luxuries his friend 
112 



provided : but before they had well begun, the door of 
the larder opened and some one came In, The two 
Mice scampered off and hid themselves in a narrow and 
exceedingly uncomfortable hole. Presently, when all 
was quiet, they ventured out agam ; but some one else 
came in, and off they scuttled agam. This was too much 
for the visitor. " Good-bye," said he, " I'm off. You 
live in the lap of luxury, I can see, but you are surrounded 
by dangers; whereas at home I can enjoy my simple dinner 
of roots and corn in peace." 



THE LION AND THE BULL 

A LION saw a fine fat Bull pasturing among a herd 
of cattle and cast about for some means of getting 
him into his clutches ; so he sent him word that he was 
sacrificing a sheep, and asked if he would do him the 
honour of dining with him. The Bull accepted the 
invitation, but, on arriving at the Lion's den, he saw 
a great array of saucepans and spits, but no sign of a 
sheep ; so he turned on his heel and walked quietly 
away. The Lion called after him In an injured tone 
to ask the reason, and the Bull turned round and said, 
I have reason enough. When I saw all your pre- 
parations it struck me at once that the victim was to be 
a Bull and not a sheep." 

The net is spread in vain In sight of 
the bird. 

P 113 



THE WOLF, THE FOX, AND THE APE 

A WOLF charged a Fox with theft, which he denied, 
and the case was brought before an Ape to be 
tried. When he had heard the evidence on both sides, 
the Ape gave judgment as follows : " I do not think," 
he said, " that you, Wolf, ever lost what you claim ; 
but all the same I believe that you. Fox, are guilty of 
the theft, in spite of all your denials." 

The dishonest get no credit, even if 
they act honestly. 



THE EAGLE AND THE COCKS 

' I 'HERE were two Cocks in the same farmyard, and 
^ they fought to decide who should be master. 
When the fight was over, the beaten one went and hid 
himself in a dark corner ; while the victor flew up on 
to the roof of the stables and crowed lustily. But an 
Eagle espied him from high up in the sky, and swooped 
down and carried him off. Forthwith the other Cock 
came out of his corner and ruled the roost without a 
rival. 

Pride comes before a fall. 



114 




THE WOLF, THE FOX, AND THE APE 



THE ESCAPED JACKDAW 

A MAN caught a Jackdaw and tied a piece of string 
"^^^ to one of Its legs, and then gave It to his children 
for a pet. But the Jackdaw didn't at all hke having to 
live with people ; so, after a while, when he seemed to 
have become fairly tame and they didn't watch him so 
closely, he slipped away and flew back to his old haunts. 
Unfortunately, the string was still on his leg, and before 
long it got entangled in the branches of a tree and the 
Jackdaw couldn't get free, try as he would. He saw it 
was all up with him, and cried in despair, *' Alas, in 
gaining my freedom I have lost my life." 



THE FARMER AND THE FOX 

A FARMER was greatly annoyed by a Fox, which 
came prowling about his yard at night and carried 
off- his fowls. So he set a trap for him and caught him ; 
and in order to be revenged upon him, he tied a bunch of 
tow to his tail and set fire to it and let him go. As ill-luck 
would have it, however, the Fox made straight for the 
fields where the corn was standing ripe and ready for 
cutting. It quickly caught fire and was all burnt up, 
and the Farmer lost all his harvest. 

Revenge is a two-edged sword. 

117 



VENUS AND THE CAT 

A CAT fell in love with a handsome young man, and 
-^^ begged the goddess Venus to change her into a 
woman. Venus was very gracious about it, and changed 
her at once into a beautiful maiden, whom the young man 
fell in love with at first sight and shortly afterwards 
married. One day Venus thought she would like to 
see whether the Cat had changed her habits as well as 
her form ; so she let a mouse run loose in the room 
where they were. Forgetting everything, the young 
woman had no sooner seen the mouse than up she jumped 
and was after it like a shot : at which the goddess was 
so disgusted that she changed her back again into a Cat. 



THE CROW AND THE SWAN 

A CROW was filled with envy on seeing the beautiful 
-^^^ white plumage of a Swan, and thought it was 
due to the water in which the Swan constantly bathed 
and swam. So he left the neighbourhood of the altars, 
where he got his living by picking up bits of the meat 
offered in sacrifice, and went and lived among the pools 
and streams. But though he bathed and washed his 
feathers many times a day, he didn't make them any 
whiter, and at last died of hunger into the bargain. 

You may change your habits, but not 
your nature. 

118 



VENUS AND THE CAT 



THE STAG WITH ONE EYE 

A STAG, blind of one eye, was grazing close to the 
■^^^ sea-shore and kept his sound eye turned towards 
the land, so as to be able to perceive the approach of 
the hounds, while the blind eye he turned towards the 
sea, never suspecting that any danger would threaten 
him from that quarter. As it fell out, however, some 
sailors, coasting along the shore, spied him and shot 
an arrow at him, by which he was mortally wounded. 
As he lay dying, he said to himself, " Wretch that I am ! 
I bethought me of the dangers of the land, whence 
none assailed me : but I feared no peril from the sea, 
yet thence has come my ruin." 

Misfortune often assails us from an 
unexpected quarter. 



THE FLY AND THE DRAUGHT-MULE 

A FLY sat on one of the shafts of a cart and said to 
^^^^ the Mule who was pulling it, " How slow you are ! 
Do mend your pace, or I shall have to use my sting as 
a goad." The Mule was not in the least disturbed. 
" Behind me, in the cart," said he, " sits my master. 
He holds the reins, and flicks me with his whip, and 
him I obey, but I don't want any of your impertinence. 
/ know when I may dawdle and when I may not." 

119 



THE COCK AND THE JEWEL 

A COCK, scratching the ground for something to eat, 
"^^ turned up a Jewel that had by chance been 
dropped there. " Ho ! " said he, " a fine thing you are, 
no doubt, and, had your owner found you, great would 
his joy have been. But for me ! give me a smgle gram 
of corn before all the jewels in the world." 



THE WOLF AND THE SHEPHERD 

A WOLF hung about near a flock of sheep for a 
long time, but made no attempt to molest them. 
The Shepherd at first kept a sharp eye on him, for he 
naturally thought he meant mischief : but as time went 
by and the Wolf showed no inclination to meddle with 
the flock, he began to look upon him more as a protector 
than as an enemy : and when one day some errand took 
him to the city, he felt no uneasiness at leaving the Wolf 
with the sheep. But as soon as his back was turned 
the Wolf attacked them and killed the greater number. 
When the Shepherd returned and saw the havoc he had 
wrought, he cried, " It serves me right for trusting my 
flock to a Wolf." 



120 




THE COCK AND THE JEWEL 



THE FARMER AND THE STORK 

AFARiMER set some traps in a field which he had 
lately sown with corn, in order to catch the cranes 
which came to pick up the seed. When he returned 
to look at his traps he found several cranes caught, and 
among them a Stork, which begged to be let go, and said, 
" You ought not to kill me : I am not a crane, but a 
Stork, as you can easily see by my feathers, and I am the 
most honest and harmless of birds." But the Farmer 
replied, " It's nothing to me what you are : I find you 
among these cranes, who rum my crops, and, like them, 
you shall suffer." 

If you choose bad companions no 
one will believe that you are anything 
but bad yourself. 



THE CHARGER AND THE MILLER 

A HORSE, who had been used to carry his rider 
"^*^ into battle, felt himself growing old and chose to 
work in a mill instead. He now no longer found himself 
stepping out proudly to the beating of the drums, but 
was compelled to slave away all day grindmg the corn. 
Bewailing his hard lot, he said one day to the Miller, 
" Ah me ! I was once a splendid war-horse, gaily 
caparisoned, and attended by a groom whose sole duty 
was to see to my wants. How different is my present 

123 



condition ! I wish I had never given up the battlefield 
for the mill." The Miller replied with asperity, " It's 
no use your regretting the past. Fortune has many 
ups and downs : you must just take them as they 
come." 



THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE OWL 

A N Owl, who lived in a hollow tree, was in the habit 
of feeding by night and sleeping by day ; but her 
slumbers were greatly disturbed by the chirping of a 
Grasshopper, who had taken up his abode in the branches. 
She begged him repeatedly to have some consideration 
for her comfort, but the Grasshopper, if anything, only 
chirped the louder. At last the Owl could stand it no 
longer, but determined to rid herself of the pest by means 
of a trick. Addressing herself to the Grasshopper, she 
said in her pleasantest manner, " As I cannot sleep for 
your song, which, believe me, is as sweet as the notes 
of Apollo's lyre, I have a mind to taste some nectar, 
which Minerva gave me the other day. Won't you come 
in and join me? " The Grasshopper was flattered by 
the praise of his song, and his mouth, too, watered at 
the mention of the delicious drink, so he said he would 
be delighted. No sooner had he got inside the hollow 
where the Owl was sitting than she pounced upon him 
and ate him up. 

124 



THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANTS 

/^~\NE fine day in winter some Ants were busy drying 
^-^ their store of corn, which had got rather damp during 
a long spell of rain. Presently up came a Grasshopper 
and begged them to spare her a few grams, " For," she 
said, " I'm simply starving." The Ants stopped work 
for a moment, though this was against their principles. 
" May we ask," said they, " what you were doing with 
yourself all last summer ? Why didn't you collect a 
store of food for the winter? " " The fact Is," replied 
the Grasshopper, " I was so busy singing that I hadn't 
the time." " If you spent the summer singing," replied 
the Ants, " you can't do better than spend the winter 
dancing. " And they chuckled and went on with their 
work. 




125 



THE FARMER AND THE VIPER 

ONE winter a Farmer found a Viper frozen and numb 
with cold, and out of pity picked it up and placed 
it in his bosom. The Viper was no sooner revived by 
the warmth than it turned upon its benefactor and 
inflicted a fatal bite upon him ; and as the poor man 
lay dying, he cried, " I have only got what I deserved, 
for taking compassion on so villainous a creature." 

Kindness is thrown away upon the 
evil. 



THE TWO FROGS 



T 



WO Frogs were neighbours. One lived in a marsh, 
where there was plenty of water, which frogs 
love : the other in a lane some distance away, where all 
the water to be had was that which lay in the ruts after 
rain. The Marsh Frog warned his friend and pressed 
him to come and live with him in the marsh, for he would 
find his quarters there far more comfortable and— what 
was still more important— more safe. But the other 
refused, saying that he could not bring himself to move 
from a place to which he had become accustomed. A 
few days afterwards a heavy waggon came down the lane, 
and he was crushed to death under the wheels. 



126 



THE COBBLER TURNED DOCTOR 

AVERY unskilful Cobbler, finding himself unable to 
make a living at his trade, gave up mending boots 
and took to doctoring instead. He gave out that he 
had the secret of a universal antidote against all poisons, 
and acquired no small reputation, thanks to his talent 
for puffing himself. One day, however, he fell very ill ; 
and the King of the country bethought him that he would 
test the value of his remedy. Calling, therefore, for a 
cup, he poured out a dose of the antidote, and, under 
pretence of mixing poison with it, added a little water, 
and commanded him to drink it. Terrified by the 
fear of being poisoned, the Cobbler confessed that he 
knew nothing about medicine, and that his antidote 
was worthless. Then the King summoned his subjects 
and addressed them as follows : " What folly could be 
greater than yours? Here is this Cobbler to whom 
no one will send his boots to be mended, and yet you 
have not hesitated to entrust him with your lives ! " 



THE ASS, THE COCK, AND THE LION 

AN Ass and a Cock were in a cattle-pen together. 
Presently a Lion, who had been starving for days, 
came along and was just about to fall upon the Ass 
and make a meal of him when the Cock, rising to his 
full height and flapping his wings vigorously, uttered a 

127 



tremendous crow. Now, If there is one thing that 
frightens a Lion, it is the crowing of a Cock : and this 
one had no sooner heard the noise than he fled. The 
Ass was mightily elated at this, and thought that, if 
the Lion couldn't face a Cock, he would be still less, 
likely to stand up to an Ass : so he ran out and pursued 
him. But when the two had got well out of sight and 
hearing of the Cock, the Lion suddenly turned upon 
the Ass and ate him up. 

False confidence often leads to disaster. 



THE BELLY AND THE MEMBERS 

' I 'HE Members of the Body once rebelled against the 
^ Belly. " You," they said to the Belly, " live in 
luxury and sloth, and never do a stroke of work ; while 
we not only have to do all the hard work there is to be 
done, but are actually your slaves and have to minister 
to all your wants. Now, we will do so no longer, and you 
can shift for yourself for the future." They were as 
good as their word, and left the Belly to starve^ The 
result was just what might have been expected : the 
whole Body soon began to fail, and the Members and 
all shared in the general collapse. And then they saw 
too late how foolish they had been. 



128 




THE BALD MAN AND THE FLY 



A FLY settled on the head of a Bald Man and bit 
^^*^ him. In his eagerness to kill it, he hit himself 
a smart slap. But the Fly escaped, and said to him in 

derision, *' You tried to kill me 
for just one little bite ; what 
will you do to yourself now, 
for the heavy smack you have 
just given yourself? '* *' Oh, for 
that blow I bear no grudge," 
he replied, *' for I never in- 
tended myself any harm ; but 
as for you, you contemptible 
r 129 




insect, who live by sucking human blood, I'd have 
borne a good deal more than that for the satisfaction 
of dashing the life out of you ! " 



THE ASS AND THE WOLF 

A N Ass was feeding in a meadow, and, catching 
■^^- sight of his enemy the Wolf in the distance, 
pretended to be very lame and hobbled pamfully along. 
When the Wolf came up, he asked the Ass how he came to 
be so lame, and the Ass replied that in going through a 
hedge he had trodden on a thorn, and he begged the Wolf 
to pull it out with his teeth, " In case," he said, ' when 
you eat me, it should stick in your throat and hurt you 
very much." The Wolf said he would, and told the Ass 
to lift up his foot, and gave his whole mind to getting 
out the thorn. But the Ass suddenly let out with his 
heels and fetched the Wolf a fearful kick in the mouth, 
breaking his teeth; and then he galloped off at full 
speed. As soon as he could speak the Wolf growled 
to himself, " It serves me right : my father taught me to 
kill, and I ought to have stuck to that trade instead of 
attempting to cure." 



130 




THE MONKEY AND THE CAMEL 

A T a gathering of all the beasts the Monkey 
^^^^ gave an exhibition of dancing and entertained 
the company vastly. There was great applause at the 
finish, which excited the envy of the Camel and made 
him desire to win the favour of the assembly by the 
same means. So he got up from his place and began 
dancing, but he cut such a ridiculous figure as he 
plunged about, and made such a grotesque exhibition of 
his ungainly person, that the beasts all fell upon him 
with ridicule and drove him away. 



THE SICK MAN AND THE DOCTOR 

A SICK MAN received a visit from his Doctor, who 

asked him how he was. " Fairly well. Doctor," 

said he, " but I find I sweat a great deal." " Ah," said 

the Doctor, " that's a good sign." On his next visit 

131 



he asked the same question, and his patient replied, 
Fm much as usual, but I've taken to havmg shivermg 
fits, which leave me cold all over." " Ah," said the 
Doctor, " that's a good sign too." When he came the 
third time and inquired as before about his patient's 
health, the Sick Man said that he felt very feverish. 
'* A very good sign," said the Doctor ; " you are doing 
very nicely indeed." Afterwards a friend came to see 
the invalid, and on asking him how he did, received 
this reply : *' My dear friend, I'm dying of good signs," 



THE TRAVELLERS AND THE PLANE-TREE 

TWO Travellers were walking along a bare and dusty 
road in the heat of a summer's day. Coming 
presently to a Plane-tree, they joyfully turned aside to 
shelter from the burning rays of the sun in the deep 
shade of its spreading branches. As they rested, looking 
up into the tree, one of them remarked to his companion, 
" What a useless tree the Plane is ! It bears no fruit 
and is of no service to man at all." The Plane-tree 
interrupted him with indignation. *'You ungrateful 
creature ! " it cried : " you come and take shelter under 
me from the scorching sun, and then, in the very act of 
enjoying the cool shade of my foliage, you abuse me and 
call me good for nothing ! " 

Many a service is met with ingrati- 
tude. 
132 



THE TRAVELLERS AND THE PLANE-TREE 



THE FLEA AND THE OX 

A FLEA once said to an Ox, " How comes it that a 
-^^- big strong fellow like you is content to serve 
mankind, and do all their hard work for them, while I, 
who am no bigger than you see, live on their bodies and 
drink my fill of their blood, and never do a stroke for it 
all ? " To which the Ox replied, " Men are very kind 
to me, and so I am grateful to them : they feed and house 
me well, and every now and then they show their fondness 
for me by patting me on the head and neck.'* " They'd 
pat me, too," said the Flea, " if I let them : but I take 
good care they don't, or there would be nothing left 
of me." 



THE BIRDS, THE BEASTS, AND THE BAT 

THE Birds were at war with the Beasts, and many 
battles were fought with varying success on 
either side. The Bat did not throw in his lot definitely 
with either party, but when things went well for the 
Birds he was found fighting in their ranks ; when, on 
the other hand, the Beasts got the upper hand, he was 
to be found among the Beasts. No one paid any atten- 
tion to him while the war lasted : but when it was over, 
and peace was restored, neither the Birds nor the Beasts 
would have anything to do with so double-faced a 
traitor, and so he remains to this day a solitary outcast 
from both. 

133 



THE MAN AND HIS TWO SWEETHEARTS 

A MAN of middle age, whose hair was turning grey, 
-^^ had two Sweethearts, an old woman and a young 
one. The elder of the two didn't like having a lover 
who looked so much younger than herself ; so, whenever 
he came to see her, she used to pull the dark hairs out of 
his head to make him look old. The younger, on the 
other hand, didn't hke him to look so much older than 
herself, and took every opportunity of pulling out the 
grey hairs, to make him look young. Between them, 
they left not a hair In his head, and he became perfectly 
bald. 



THE EAGLE, THE JACKDAW, AND THE 
SHEPHERD 

ONE day a Jackdaw saw an Eagle swoop aown on a 
lamb and carry it off in its talons. " My word," 
said the Jackdaw, *' I'll do that myself." So it flew high 
up into the air, and then came shooting down with a 
great whirring of wings on to the back of a big ram. 
It had no sooner alighted than its claws got caught 
fast in the wool, and nothing it could do was of any use : 
there it stuck, flapping away, and only making things 
worse Instead of better. By and by up came the Shepherd. 
" Oho," he said, " so that's what you'd be doing, is it ? " 
And he took the Jackdaw, and clipped its wings and 
134 



carried it home to his children. It looked so odd that 
they didn't know what to make of it. " What sort of 
bird is it, father? " they asked. " It's a Jackdaw," he 
replied, " and nothing but a Jackdaw : but it wants to 
be taken for an Eagle." 

If you attempt what is beyond your 
power, your trouble will be wasted 
and you court not only misfortune but 
ridicule. 



THE WOLF AND THE BOY 

A WOLF, who had just enjoyed a good meal and was 
in a playful mood, caught sight of a Boy lymg 
flat upon the ground, and, realismg that he was trying to 
hide, and that it was fear of himself that made him do this, 
he went up to him and said, " Aha, I've found you, you 
see ; but if you can say three things to me, the truth of 
which cannot be disputed, I will spare your life." The 
Boy plucked up courage and thought for a moment, 
and then he said, " First, it is a pity you saw me ; secondly, 
I was a fool to let myself be seen ; and thirdly, we all 
hate wolves because- they are always making unprovoked 
attacks upon our flocks." The Wolf replied, " Well, 
what you say is true enough from your point of view ; 
so you may go." 

135 





THE MILLER, HIS SON, AND THEIR ASS 

A MILLER, accompanied by his young Son, was 
^^^- driving his Ass to market in hopes of finding a 
purchaser for him. On 
the road they met a troop 
of girls, laughing and talk- 
ing, who exclaimed, " Did 
you ever see such a pair 
of fools ? To be trudging 
along the dusty road when 
they might be riding ! " The Miller thought there was 
sense in what they said ; so he made his Son mount the 
Ass, and himself walked at the side. Presently they 
met some of his old cronies, who greeted them and 
said, " You'll spoil that Son of yours, letting him ride 

while you toil along on foot ! 
Make him walk, young lazybones ! 
It'll do him all the good in the 
world." The Miller followed 
their advice, and took his Son's 
place on the back of the Ass 





while the boy trudged along 
behind. They had not gone 
far when they overtook a party 
of women and children, and 
the Miller heard them say, 
" What a selfish old man ! He 
himself rides in comfort, but 
lets his poor little boy follow as best he can on his own 
legs!" So he made his Son get up behind him. Further 
along the road they met some travellers, who asked the 
Miller whether the Ass he was riding was his own pro- 
perty, or a beast hired for the occasion. He replied that 
it was his own, and that he was 
takmg it to market to sell. " Good 
heavens ! " said they, *' with a load 
like that the poor beast will be so 
exhausted by the time he gets there 
that no one will look at him. Why, 
you'd do better to carry him ! '* 
"Anything to please you," said the old man, " we can 
but try." So they got off, tied the Ass's legs together 
with a rope and slung him on a pole, and at last reached 
the town, carrying him between them. This was so 

absurd a sight that the people 
ran out in crowds to laugh at 
it, and chaffed the Father and 
Son unmercifully, some even 
calling them lunatics. They 
had then got to a bridge 
over the river, where the 
s 137 





Ass, frightened by the 
noise and his unusual 
situation, kicked and 
struggled till he broke 
the ropes that bound 
him, and fell into the 
water and was drowned. 
Whereupon the unfortunate Miller, vexed and ashamed, 
made the best of his way home again, convinced that 
in trying to please all he had pleased none, and had lost 
his Ass into the bargain. 




THE STAG AND THE VINE 

A STAG, pursued by the huntsmen, concealed himself 
■^^^ under cover of a thick Vine. They lost track of 
him and passed by his hiding-place without being aware 
that he was anywhere near. Supposing all danger to 
be over, he presently began to browse on the leaves 
of the Vine. The movement drew the attention of the 
returning huntsmen, and one of them, supposing some 
animal to be hidden there, shot an arrow at a venture 
into the foliage. The unlucky Stag was pierced to the 
heart, and, as he expired, he said, " I deserve my fate 
for my treachery in feeding upon the leaves of my 
protector." 

Ingratitude sometimes brings its own 

punishment. 

138 



THE LAMB CHASED BY A WOLF 

A WOLF was chasing a Lamb, which took refuge in 
-^^- a temple. The Wolf urged it to come out of the 
precincts, and said, " If you don't, the priest is sure to 
catch you and offer you up in sacrifice on the altar," 
To which the Lamb replied, " Thanks, I think I'll stay 
where I am : I'd rather be sacrificed any day than be 

eaten up by a Wolf." 



THE ARCHER AND THE LION 

A N Archer went up into the hills to get some sport 
-^^^ with his bow, and all the animals fled at the 
sight of him with the exception of the Lion, who stayed 
behind and challenged him to fight. But he shot an 
arrow at the Lion and hit him, and said, " There, you 
see what my messenger can do : just you wait a moment 
and I'll tackle you myself.'* The Lion, however, when 
he felt the sting of the arrow, ran away as fast as his 
legs could carry him. A fox, who had seen it all happen, 
said to the Lion, " Come, don't be a coward ; why 
don't you stay and show fight ? " But the Lion replied, 
" You won't get me to stay, not you : why, when he 
sends a messenger like that before him, he must him- 
self be a terrible fellow to deal with." 

Give a wide berth to those who can 
do damage at a distance. 

139 



THE WOLF AND THE GOAT 

A WOLF caught sight of a Goat browsing above him 
-^^ on the scanty herbage that grew on the top of a 
steep rock ; and being unable to get at her, tried to 
induce her to come lower down. *' You are risking your 
hfe up there, madam, indeed you are, he called out : 
" pray take my advice and come down here, where you 
will find plenty of better food." The Goat turned a 
knowing eye upon him. " It's little you care whether 
I get good grass or bad," said she : *' what you want is to 
eat me." 



THE SICK STAG 

A STAG fell sick and lay in a clearing in the forest, 
^~^ too weak to move from the spot. When the news 
of his illness spread, a number of the other beasts came to 
inquire after his health, and they one and all nibbled a 
little of the grass that grew round the invalid till at last 
there was not a blade within his reach. In a few days 
he began to mend, but was still too feeble to get up 
and go in search of fodder ; and thus he perished 
miserably of hunger owing to the thoughtlessness of 
his friends. 



140 




THE WOLF AND THE GOAT 



THE ASS AND THE MULE 

A CERTAIN man who had an Ass and a Mule loaded 
them both up one day and set out upon a journey. 
So long as the road was fairly level, the Ass got on very 
well : but by and by they came to a place among the 
hills where the road was very rough and steep, and the 
Ass was at his last gasp. So he begged the Mule to 
relieve him of a part of his load : but the Mule refused. 
At last, from sheer weariness, the Ass stumbled and fell 
down a steep place and was killed. The driver was in 
despair, but he did the best he could : he added the Ass's 
load to the Mule's, and he also flayed the Ass and put 
his skin on the top of the double load. The Mule could 
only just manage the extra weight, and, as he staggered 
painfully along, he said to himself, " I have only got what 
I deserved : if I had been willing to help the Ass at 
first, I should not now be carrying his load and his skin 
into the bargain." 



BROTHER AND SISTER 

A CERTAIN man had two children, a boy and a girl : 
-^^ and the boy was as good-looking as the girl was 
plain. One day, as they were playing together in their 
mother's chamber, they chanced upon a mirror and saw 
their own features for the first time. The boy saw what 
a handsome fellow he was, and began to boast to his 

143 



sister about his good looks : she, on her part, was ready 
to cry with vexation when she was aware of her plainness, 
and took his remarks as an insult to herself. Running 
to her father, she told him of her Brother's conceit, 
and accused him of meddlmg with his mother's things. 
He laughed and kissed them both, and said, " My 
children, learn from now onwards to make a good use 
of the glass. You, my boy, strive to be as good as it 
shows you to be handsome ; and you, my girl, resolve 
to make up for the plainness of your features by the 
sweetness of your disposition.'* 



THE HEIFER AND THE OX 

A HEIFER went up to an Ox, who was straining hard 
•*^^ at the plough, and sympathised with him in a 
rather patronising sort of way on the necessity of his 
having to work so hard. Not long afterwards there was 
a festival in the village and every one kept holiday : 
but, whereas the Ox was turned loose into the pasture, 
the Heifer was seized and led off to sacrifice. *' Ah," 
said the Ox, with a grim smile, " I see now why you 
were allowed to have such an idle time : it was because 
you were always intended for the altar." 



144 



THE KINGDOM OF THE LION 

YVTHEN the Lion reigned over the beasts of the earth 
' ' he was never cruel or tyrannical, but as gentle 
and just as a King ought to be. During his reign he 
called a general assembly of the beasts, and drew up a 
code of laws under which all were to live in perfect 
equality and harmony : the wolf and the lamb, the tiger 
and the stag, the leopard and the kid, the dog and the 
hare, all should dwell side by side m unbroken peace and 
friendship. The hare said, " Oh ! how I have longed 
for this day when the weak take their place without fear 
by the side of the strong ! " 




145 



THE ASS AND HIS DRIVER 

A N Ass was being driven down a mountain road, 
-^^^ and after jogging along for a while sensibly 
enough he suddenly quitted the track and rushed to 
the edge of a precipice. He was just about to leap 
over the edge when his Driver caught hold of his tail 
and did his best to pull him back : but pull as he might 
he couldn't get the Ass to budge from the brink. At 
last he gave up, crying, " All right, then, get to the 
bottom your own way ; but it's the way to sudden death, 
as you'll find out quick enough." 



THE LION AND THE HARE 

A LION found a Hare sleeping in her form, and was 
■^^^ just going to devour her when he caught sight 
of a passing stag. Dropping the Hare, he at once, made 
for the bigger game ; but finding, after a long chase, 
that he could not overtake the stag, he abandoned the 
attempt and came back for the Hare. When he reached 
the spot, however, he found she was nowhere to be seen, 
and he had to go without his dinner. " It serves me 
right," he said ; " I should have been content with what 
I had got, instead of hankering after a better prize." 



146 



THE WOLVES AND THE DOGS 

ONCE upon a time the Wolves said to the Dogs, 
" Why should we continue to be enemies any 
longer ? You are very like us In most ways : the main 
difference between us is one of training only. We live 
a life of freedom ; but you are enslaved to mankind, 
who beat you, and put heavy collars round your necks, 
and compel you to keep watch over their flocks and 
herds for them, and, to crown all, they give you nothing 
but bones to eat. Don't put up with it any longer, 
but hand over the flocks to us, and we will all live on the 
fat of the land and feast together." The Dogs allowed 
themselves to be persuaded by these words, and accom- 
panied the Wolves into their den. But no sooner were 
they well inside than the Wolves set upon them and tore 
them to pieces. 

Traitors richly deserve their fate. 



THE BULL AND THE CALF 

A FULL-GROWN Bull was struggling to force his 
huge bulk through the narrow entrance to a cow- 
house where his stall was, when a young Calf came up 
and said to him, " If you'll step aside a moment, I'll show 
you the way to get through. " The Bull turned upon 
him an amused look. " I knew that way," said he, 
" before you were born." 

147 



THE TREES AND THE AXE 

A WOODMAN went into the forest and begged of the 
Trees the favour of a handle for his Axe. The 
principal Trees at once agreed to so modest a request, 
and unhesitatingly gave him a young ash sapling, out of 
which he fashioned the handle he desired. No sooner 
had he done so than he set to work to fell the noblest 
Trees in the wood. When they saw the use to which he 
was putting their gift, they cried, " Alas ! alas ! We 
are undone, but we are ourselves to blame. The little 
we gave has cost us all : had we not sacrificed the rights 
of the ash, we might ourselves have stood for ages." 



THE ASTRONOMER 

I 'HERE was once an Astronomer whose habit it was 
^ to go out at night and observe the stars. One 
night, as he was walking about outside the town gates, 
gazing up absorbed into the sky and not looking where 
he was going, he fell into a dry well. As he lay there 
groaning, some one passing by heard him, and, coming 
to the edge of the well, looked down and, on learning 
what had happened, said, " If you really mean to say 
that you were looking so hard at the sky that you didn't 
even see where your feet were carrying you along the 
ground, it appears to me that you deserve all you've 
got." 
148 



THE TREES AND THE AXE 



THE LABOURER AND THE SNAKE 

A LABOURER'S little son was bitten by a Snake 
-^^^ and died of the wound. The father was beside 
himself with grief, and in his anger against the Snake 
he caught up an axe and went and stood close to the 
Snake's hole, and watched for a chance of killing it. 
Presently the Snake came out, and the man aimed a blow 
at it, but only succeeded in cutting off the tip of its tail 
before it wriggled in again. He then tried to get it to 
come out a second time, pretending that he wished to 
make up the quarrel. But the Snake said, " I can never 
be your friend because of my lost tail, nor you mine 
because of your lost child." 

Injuries are never forgotten in the 
presence of those who caused them. 



THE CAGE-BIRD AND THE BAT 

A SINGING-BIRD was confined in a cage which 
-^^^ hung outside a window, and had a way of singing 
at night when all other birds were asleep. One night a 
Bat came and clung to the bars of the cage, and asked 
the Bird why she was silent by day and sang only at 
night. " I have a very good reason for doing so," said 
the Bird : " it was once when I was singing in the daytime 
that a fowler was attracted by my voice, and set his nets 

149 



for me and caught me. Since then I Have never sung 
except by night," But the Bat rephed, " It is no use 
your doing that now when you are a prisoner : if only 
you had done so before you were caught, you might still 
have been free." 

Precautions are useless after the event. 



THE ASS AND HIS PURCHASER 

A MAN who wanted to buy an Ass went to market, 
-^^ and, coming across a likely-looking beast, arranged 
with the owner that he should be allowed to take him 
home on trial to see what he was like. When he reached 
home, he put him into his stable along with the other 
asses. The newcomer took a look round, and imme- 
diately went and chose a place next to the laziest and 
greediest beast in the stable. When the master saw 
this he put a halter on him at once, and led him off and 
handed him over to his owner again. The latter was a 
good deal surprised to see him back so soon, and said, 
" Why, do you mean to say you have tested him already ? ' 
I don't want to put him through any more tests," replied 
the other : " I could see what sort of beast he is from the 
companion he chose for himself." 

A man is known by the company he 
keeps. 

150 




THE KID AND THE WOLF 



A KID strayed from the flock and was chased by a 
■^^^ Wolf. When he saw he must be caught he turned 
round and said to the Wolf, '' I know, sir, that I can't 
escape being eaten by you : and so, as my life is bound to 
be short, I pray you let it be as merry as may be. Will you 
not play me a tune to dance to before I die ? " The Wolf 
saw no objection to having some music before his dinner : 
so he took out his pipe and began to play, while the Kid 

151 



danced before him. Before many minutes were passed 
the dogs who guarded the flock heard the sound and 
came up to see what was gomg on. They no sooner 
clapped eyes on the Wolf than they gave chase and drove 
him away. As he ran off, he turned and said to the 
Kid, " It's what I thoroughly deserve : my trade is the 
butcher's, and I had no business to turn piper to please 
you." 



THE DEBTOR AND HIS SOW 

A MAN OF ATHENS fell into debt and was pressed 
for the money by his creditor ; but he had no 
means of paying at the time, so he begged for delay. 
But the creditor refused and said he must pay at once. 
Then the Debtor fetched a Sow — the only one he had — 
and took her to market to offer her for sale. It happened 
that his creditor was there too. Presently a buyer came 
along and asked if the Sow produced good litters. " Yes," 
said the Debtor, " very fine ones ; and the remarkable 
thing is that she produces females at the Mysteries and 
males at the Panathenea." (Festivals these were : and 
the Athenians always sacrifice a sow at one, and a boar 
at the other ; while at the Dionysia they sacrifice a kid.) 
At that the creditor, who was standing by, put in, Don t 
be surprised, sir ; why, still better, at the Dionysia this 
Sow has kids ! " 



152 



THE BALD HUNTSMAN 

A MAN who had lost all his hair took to wearing a 
'^*' wig, and one day he went out hunting. It was 
blowing rather hard at the time, and he hadn't gone far 
before a gust of wind caught his hat and carried it off, 
and his wig too, much to the amusement of the hunt. 
But he quite entered into the joke, and said, " Ah, well ! 
the hair that wig is made of didn't stick to the head on 
which it grew ; so it's no wonder it won't stick to 
mine." 



THE HERDSMAN AND THE LOST BULL 

A HERDSMAN was tending his cattle when he missed 
■*^*^ a young BuO, one of the finest of the herd. He went 
at once to look for him, but, meeting with no success in 
his search, he made a vow that, if he should discover the 
thief, he would sacrifice a calf to Jupiter. Continuing 
his search, he entered a thicket, where he presently 
espied a lion devouring the lost Bull. Terrified with fear, 
he raised his hands to heaven and cried, " Great Jupiter, 
I vowed I would sacrifice a calf to thee if I should 
discover the thief : but now a full-grown Bull I promise 
thee if only I myself escape unhurt from his clutches." 



u 



153 




THE MULE 



ONE morning a Mule, who had too much to eat and 
too Httle to do, began to thmk himself a very 
fine fellow indeed, and frisked about saying, " My father 
was undoubtedly a high-spirited horse and I take after 
him entirely." But very soon afterwards he was put 
into the harness and compelled to go a very long way 
with a heavy load behind him. At the end of the day, 
exhausted by his unusual exertions, he said dejectedly 
to himself, " I must have been mistaken about my father ; 
he can only have been an ass after all." 



154 




THE HOUND AND THE FOX 

A HOUND, roaming m the forest, spied a lion, and, 
being well used to lesser game, gave chase, thinking 
he would make a fine quarry. Presently the lion per- 
ceived that he was being pursued ; so, stopping short, 
he rounded on his pursuer and gave a loud roar. The 
Hound immediately turned tail and fled. A Fox, seeing 
him running away, jeered at him and said, " Ho ! ho ! 
There goes the coward who chased a lion and ran away 
the moment he roared ! " 



THE FATHER AND HIS DAUGHTERS 

A MAN had two Daughters, one of whom he gave in 
-^^ marriage to a gardener, and the other to a potter. 
After a time he thought he would go and see how they 
were getting on ; and first he went to the gardener's 
wife. He asked her how she was, and how things were 
going with herself and her husband. She replied that 
on the whole they were doing very well : " But," she 
continued, " I do wish we could have some good heavy 
rain : the garden wants it badly." Then he went on 
to the potter's wife and made the same inquiries of her. 
She replied that she and her husband had nothing to 
complain of : " But," she went on, " I do wish we could 
have some nice dry weather, to dry the pottery." Her 
Father looked at her with a humorous expression on his 

155 



face. *' You want dry weather," he said, " and your 
sister wants rain. I was going to ask in my prayers 
that your wishes should be granted ; but now it strikes 
me I had better not refer to the subject." 



THE THIEF AND THE INNKEEPER 

A THIEF hired a room at an inn, and stayed there 
-^^^ some days on the look-out for something to steal. 
No opportunity, however, presented itself, till one day, 
when there was a festival to be celebrated, the Innkeeper 
appeared in a fine new coat and sat down before the door 
of the inn for an airing. The Thief no sooner set eyes 
upon the coat than he longed to get possession of it. 
There was no busmess doing, so he went and took a seat 
by the side of the Innkeeper, and began talking to him. 
They conversed together for some time, and then the 
Thief suddenly yawned and howled like a wolf. The 
Innkeeper asked him in some concern what ailed him. 
The Thief replied, " I will tell you about myself, sir, 
but first I must beg you to take charge of my clothes for 
me, for I intend to leave them with you. Why I have these 
fits of yawnmg I cannot tell : maybe they are sent as a 
punishment for my misdeeds ; but, whatever the reason, 
the facts are that when I have yawned three times I 
become a ravenmg wolf and fly at men's throats." As 
he finished speakmg he yawned a second time and howled 
again as before. The Innkeeper, believing every word 
156 



he said, and terrified at the prospect of being confronted 
with a wolf, got up hastily and started to run indoors ; but 
the Thief caught him by the coat and tried to stop him, 
crying, " Stay, sir, stay, and take charge of my clothes, 
or else I shall never see them again." As he spoke he 
opened his mouth and began to yawn for the third time. 
The Innkeeper, mad with the fear of being eaten by a 
wolf, slipped out of his coat, which remained in the 
other's hands, and bolted into the inn and locked the 
door behind him ; and the Thief then quietly stole off 
with his spoil. 



THE PACK-ASS AND THE WILD ASS 

A WILD ASS, who was wandering idly about, one 
^^"^ day came upon a Pack-Ass lying at full length 
in a sunny spot and thoroughly enjoying himself. Going 
up to him, he said, " What a lucky beast you are ! Your 
sleek coat shows how well you live : how I envy you ! " 
Not long after the Wild Ass saw his acquaintance 
again, but this time he was carrying a heavy load, and his 
driver was following behind and beating him with a 
thick stick. " Ah, my friend," said the Wild Ass, " I 
don't envy you any more : for I see you pay dear for 
your comforts." 

Advantages that are dearly bought are 

doubtful blessings. 

157 



THE ASS AND HIS MASTERS 

A GARDENER had an Ass which had a very hard 
-^^ time of it, what with scanty food, heavy loads, 
and constant beating. The Ass therefore begged Jupiter 
to take him away from the Gardener and hand him over 
to another master. So Jupiter sent Mercury to the 
Gardener to bid him sell the Ass to a Potter, which he 
did. But the Ass was as discontented as ever, for he 
had to work harder than before : so he begged Jupiter 
for rehef a second time, and Jupiter very obligingly 
arranged that he should be sold to a Tanner. But when 
the Ass saw what his new master's trade was, he cried 
in despair, " Why wasn't I content to serve either of 
my former masters, hard as I had to work and badly as 
I was treated ? for they would have buried me decently, 
but now I shall come in the end to the tanning-vat. ' 

Servants don't know a good master 
till they have served a worse. 



THE PACK-ASS, THE WILD ASS, AND THE 
LION 

A WILD ASS saw a Pack- Ass jogging along under 
-^^^ a heavy load, and taunted him with the condition 
of slavery in which he lived, in these words : " What a 
vile lot is yours compared with mine ! I am free as the 
air, and never do a stroke of work ; and, as for fodder, 
158 



I have only to go to the hills and there I find far more 
than enough for my needs. But you ! you depend 
on your master for food, and he makes you carry heavy 
loads every day and beats you unmercifully." At that 
moment a Lion appeared on the scene, and made no 
attempt to molest the Pack-Ass owing to the presence 
of the driver ; but he fell upon the Wild Ass, who had 
no one to protect him, and without more ado made a 
meal of him. 

It is no use being your own master 
unless you can stand up for yourself. 



THE ANT 

A NTS were once men and made their living by 
-^^ tilling the soil. But, not content with the results 
of their own work, they were always casting longing 
eyes upon the crops and fruits of their neighbours, 
which they stole, whenever they got the chance, and 
added to their own store. At last their covetousness 
made Jupiter so angry that he changed them into Ants. 
But, though their forms were changed, their nature 
remained the same : and so, to this day, they go about 
among the cornfields and gather the fruits of others' 
labour, and store them up for their own use. 

You may punish a thief, but his bent 
remains. 

159 



THE FROGS AND THE WELL 

' I 'WO Frogs lived together in a marsh. But one 
A hot summer the marsh dried up, and they left, 
it to look for another place to live in : for frogs like damp 
places if they can get them. By and by they came to a 
deep well, and one of them looked down into it, and 
said to the other, " This looks a nice cool place : let us 
jump in and settle here." But the other, who had a 
wiser head on his shoulders, replied, " Not so fast, my 
friend : supposing this well dried up like the marsh, how 
should we get out again ? " 

Think twice before you act. 



THE CRAB AND THE FOX 

A CRAB once left the sea-shore and went and settled 
■^^- in a meadow some way mland, which looked very 
nice and green and seemed likely to be a good place to 
feed in. But a hungry Fox came along and spied the 
Crab and caught him. Just as he was going to be 
eaten up, the Crab said, " This is just what I deserve ; 
for I had no business to leave my natural home by the 
sea and settle here as though I belonged to the land." 

Be content with your loto 

160 




THE FROGS AND THE WELL 



X 



THE FOX AND THE GRASSHOPPER 

A GRASSHOPPER sat chirping in the branches of 
a tree. A Fox heard her, and, thinking what a 
dainty morsel she would make, he tried to get her down 
by a trick. Standmg below in full view of her, he 
praised her song in the most flattering terms, and begged 
her to descend, saying he would like to make the acquaint- 
ance of the owner of so beautiful a voice. But she was 
not to be taken in, and replied, " You are very much 
mistaken, my dear sir, if you imagine I am going to come 
down : I keep well out of the way of you and your kind 
ever since the day when I saw numbers of grasshoppers' 
wings strewn about the entrance to a fox's earth." 



THE FARMER, HIS BOY, AND THE ROOKS 

A FARMER had just sown a field of wheat, and was 
^^^ keeping a careful watch over it, for numbers of 
Rooks and starlings kept continually settling on it and 
eating up the grain. Along with him went his Boy, 
carrying a sling : and whenever the Farmer asked for 
the sling the starlings understood what he said and warned 
the Rooks and they were off in a moment. So the 
Farmer hit on a trick. " My lad," said he, " we must 
get the better of these birds somehow. After this, when 
I want the sling, I won't say ' sling,' but just * humph ! ' 
and you must then hand me the slmg quickly." 

163 



Presently back came the whole flock. " Humph ! " said 
the Farmer ; but the starlings took no notice, and he had 
time to slmg several stones among them, hitting one on 
the head, another m the legs, and another in the wing, 
before they got out of range. As they made all haste 
away they met some cranes, who asked them what the 
matter was. " Matter? " said one of the Rooks ; " it's 
those rascals, men, that are the matter. Don't you go 
near them. They have a way of saying one thing and 
meaning another which has just been the death of several 
of our poor friends." 



THE ASS AND THE DOG 

A N Ass and a Dog were on their travels together, 
-^^^ and, as they went along, they found a sealed 
packet lying on the ground. The Ass picked it up, 
broke the seal, and found it contained some writing, 
which he proceeded to read out aloud to the Dog. As 
he read on it turned out to be all about grass and barley 
and hay — in short, all the kinds of fodder that Asses 
are fond of. The Dog was a good deal bored with listen- 
ing to all this, till at last his impatience got the better 
of him, and he cried, " Just skip a few pages, friend, and 
see if there isn't something about meat and bones." 
The Ass glanced all through the packet, but found 
nothing of the sort, and said so. Then the Dog said in 
disgust, " Oh, throw it away, do : what's the good of a 
thing like that ? " 

164 



THE ASS CARRYING THE IMAGE 

A CERTAIN man put an Image on the back of his 
Ass to take it to one of the temples of the town. 
As they went along the road all the people they met 
uncovered and bowed their heads out of reverence for 
the Image ; but the Ass thought they were doing it out 
of respect for himself, and began to give himself airs 
accordingly. At last he became so conceited that he 
imagined he could do as he liked, and, by way of protest 
against the load he was carrying, he came to a full stop 
and flatly declined to proceed any further. His driver, 
finding him so obstinate, hit him hard and long with his 
stick, saying the while, " Oh, you dunder-headed idiot, 
do you suppose it's come to this, that men pay worship 
to an Ass ? " 

Rude shocks await those who take to 
themselves the credit that is due to 
others. 



THE ATHENIAN AND THE THEBAN 

AN Athenian and a Theban were on the road together, 
and passed the time m conversation, as is the 
way of travellers. After discussing a variety of subjects 
they began to talk about heroes, a topic that tends to 
be more fertile than edifying. Each of them was lavish 
in his praises of the heroes of his own city, until eventually 

165 



the Theban asserted that Hercules was the greatest 
hero who had ever lived on earth, and now occupied a 
foremost place among the gods ; while the Athenian 
insisted that Theseus was far superior, for his fortune 
had been in every way supremely blessed, whereas 
Hercules had at one time been forced to act as a servant. 
And he gained his point, for he was a very glib fellow, 
like all Athenians ; so that the Theban, who was no 
match for him in talking, cried at last in some disgust, 
" All right, have your way ; I only hope that, when our 
heroes are angry with us, Athens may suffer from the 
anger of Hercules, and Thebes only from that of 
Theseus." 



THE GOATHERD AND THE GOAT 

A GOATHERD was one day gathering his flock to 
return to the fold, when one of his goats strayed 
and refused to join the rest. He tried for a long time to 
get her to return by calling and whistling to her, but the 
Goat took no notice of him at all ; so at last he threw a 
stone at her and broke one of her horns. In dismay, 
he begged her not to tell his master : but she replied, 
" You silly fellow, my horn would cry aloud even if I 
held my tongue." 

It's no use trying to hide what can't 
be hidden. 

166 




THE GOATHERD AND THE GOAT 



THE SHEEP AND THE DOG 

ONCE upon a time the Sheep complained to the 
shepherd about the difference In his treatment of 
themselves and his Dog. " Your conduct," said they, 
" is very strange and, we thmk, very unfair. We provide 
you with wool and lambs and milk and you give us nothing 
but grass, and even that we have to find for ourselves : 
but you get nothing at all from the Dog, and yet you 
feed him with tlt-blts from your own table." Their 
remarks were overheard by the Dog, who spoke up at 
once and said, " Yes, and quite right, too : where would 
you be if it wasn't for me ? Thieves would steal you ! 
Wolves would eat you ! Indeed, if I didn't keep con- 
stant watch over you, you would be too terrified even to 
graze ! " The Sheep were obliged to acknowledge that 
he spoke the truth, and never again made a grievance of 
the regard in which he was held by his master. 



THE SHEPHERD AND THE WOLF 

A SHEPHERD found a Wolf's Cub straying in the 
■^^*- pastures, and took him home and reared him along 
with his dogs. When the Cub grew to his full size, if ever a 
wolf stole a sheep from the flock, he used to join the dogs 
in hunting him down. It sometimes happened that the 
dogs failed to come up with the thief, and, abandoning 
the pursuit, returned home. The Wolf would on such 

y 169 



occasions continue the chase by himself, and when he 
overtook the culprit, would stop and share the feast 
with him, and then return to the Shepherd. But if some 
time passed without a sheep being carried off by the 
wolves, he would steal one himself and share his plunder 
with the dogs. The Shepherd's suspicions were aroused, 
and one day he caught him in the act ; and, fastening a 
rope round his neck, hung him on the nearest tree. 

What's bred in the bone is sure to 
come out in the flesh. 



THE LION, JUPITER, AND THE ELEPHANT 

'T^HE Lion, for all his size and strength, and his 
-'- sharp teeth and claws, is a coward in one thing : 
he can't bear the sound of a cock crowing, and runs away 
whenever he hears it. He complained bitterly to Jupiter 
for making him like that ; but Jupiter said it wasn't his 
fault : he had done the best he could for him, and, 
considering this was his only failing, he ought to be well 
content. The Lion, however, wouldn't be comforted, 
and was so ashamed of his timidity that he wished he 
might die. In this state of mind, he met the Elephant 
and had a talk with him. He noticed that the great 
beast cocked up his ears all the time, as if he were listening 
for something, and he asked him why he did so. Just 
then a gnat came humming by, and the Elephant said, 
170 



THE LION, JUPITER, AND THE ELEPHANT 



" Do you see that wretched httle buzzing insect ? I'm 
terribly afraid of its getting into my ear : if it once gets 
in, I'm dead and done for." The Lion's spirits rose 
at once when he heard this : " For," he said to himself, 
" if the Elephant, huge as he is, is afraid of a gnat, I 
needn't be so much ashamed of being afraid of a cock, 
who is ten thousand times bigger than a gnat." 



THE PIG AND THE SHEEP 

A PIG found his way into a meadow where a flock of 
^^*^ Sheep were grazing. The shepherd caught him, 
and was proceeding to carry him off to the butcher's 
when he set up a loud squealing and struggled to get 
free. The Sheep rebuked him for making such a to-do, 
and said to him, " The shepherd catches us regularly 
and drags us off just like that, and we don't make any fuss." 
" No, I dare say not," rephed the Pig, " but my case and 
yours are altogether different : he only wants you for 
wool, but he wants me for bacon." 



THE GARDENER AND HIS DOG 

A GARDENER'S Dog fell into a deep well, from which 
his master used to draw water for the plants in 
his garden with a rope and a bucket. Failing to get the 
Dog out by means of these, the Gardener went down into 

171 



the well himself in order to fetch him up. But the Dog 
thought he had come to make sure of drownmg him ; 
so he bit his master as soon as he came withm reach, 
and hurt him a good deal, with the result that he left the 
Dog to his fate and climbed out of the well, remarking, 
" It serves me quite right for trying to save so determined 
a suicide. 



THE RIVERS AND THE SEA 

ONCE upon a time all the Rivers combined to 
protest against the action of the Sea in making 
their waters salt. " When we come to you," said they 
to the Sea, " we are sweet and drinkable : but when 
once we have mingled with you, our waters become as 
briny and unpalatable as your own." The Sea replied 
shortly, " Keep away from me and you'll remain 
sweet. 



THE LION IN LOVE 

A LION fell deeply in love with the daughter of a 
cottager and wanted to marry her ; but her father 
was unwilling to give her to so fearsome a husband, 
and yet didn't want to offend the Lion ; so he hit upon 
172 



the following expedient. He went to the Lion and said, 
I think you will make a very good husband for my 
daughter : but I cannot consent to your union unless you 
let me draw your teeth and pare your nails, for my daughter 
is terribly afraid of them." The Lion was so much in 
love that he readily agreed that this should be done. 
When once, however, he was thus disarmed, the Cottager 
was afraid of him no longer, but drove him away with his 
club. 



THE BEE-KEEPER 

A THIEF found his way into an apiary when the 
-^^^ Bee-keeper was away, and stole all the honey. 
When the Keeper returned and found the hives empty, 
he was very much upset and stood staring at them for 
some time. Before long the bees came back from 
gathering honey, and, finding their hives overturned 
and the Keeper standing by, they made for him with 
their stings. At this he fell into a passion and cried, 
" You ungrateful scoundrels, you let the thief who stole 
my honey get off scot-free, and then you go and sting 
me who have always taken such care of you ! " 

When you hit back make sure you 
have got the right man. 



173 



THE WOLF AND THE HORSE 

A WOLF on his rambles came to a field of oats, but, 
not being able to eat tbem, he was passing on his 
way when a Horse came along. *' Look, ' said the Wolf, 
" here's a fine field of oats. For your sake I have left it 
untouched, and I shall greatly enjoy the sound of your 
teeth munching the ripe grain." But the Horse replied, 
If wolves could eat oats, my fine friend, you would 
hardly have indulged your ears at the cost of your belly." 

There is no virtue in giving to others 
what is useless to oneself. 



THE BAT, THE BRAMBLE, AND THE 
SEAGULL 

A BAT, a Bramble, and a Seagull went into partnership 
-^^^ and determined to go on a trading voyage together. 
The Bat borrowed a sum of money for his venture ; the 
Bramble laid in a stock of clothes of various kinds ; 
and the Seagull took a quantity of lead : and so they set 
out. By and by a great storm came on, and their boat 
with all the cargo went to the bottom, but the three 
travellers managed to reach land. Ever since then 
the Seagull flies to and fro over the sea, and every now 
and then dives below the surface, looking for the lead 
he's lost ; while the Bat is so afraid of meeting his 

174 




THE WOLF AND THE HORSE 



creditors that he hides away by day and only comes out 
at night to feed ; and the Bramble catches hold of the 
clothes of every one who passes by, hopmg some day to 
recognise and recover the lost garments. 

All men are more concerned to recover 
what they lose than to acquire what 
they lack. 



THE DOG AND THE WOLF 

A DOG was lying in the sun before a farmyard gate 
-^^^ when a Wolf pounced upon him and was just 
going to eat him up ; but he begged for his life and said, 
" You see how thin I am and what a wretched meal I 
should make you now : but if you will only wait a few 
days my master is going to give a feast. All the rich 
scraps and pickings will fall to me and I shall get nice 
and fat : then will be the time for you to eat me." The 
Wolf thought this was a very good plan and went away. 
Some time afterwards he came to the farmyard again, 
and found the Dog lying out of reach on the stable roof. 

Come down," he called, " and be eaten : you remember 
our agreement ? " But the Dog said coolly, " My friend, 
if ever you catch me lying down by the gate there again, 
don't you wait for any feast." 

Once bitten, twice shy. 

z 177 



THE WASP AND THE SNAKE 

A WASP settled on the head of a Snake, and not only 
-^^^ stung him several times, but clung obstinately 
CO the head of his victim. Maddened with pain the 
Snake tried every means he could think of to get rid of 
the creature, but without success. At last he became 
desperate, and crying, " Kill you I will, even at the cost 
of my own life," he laid his head with the Wasp on it 
under the wheel of a passing waggon, and they both 
perished together. 



THE EAGLE AND THE BEETLE 

A N Eagle was chasing a hare, which was running for 
-^^^ dear life and was at her wits' end to know where 
to turn for help. Presently she espied a Beetle, and begged 
it to aid her. So when the Eagle came up the Beetle 
warned her not to touch the hare, which was under its 
protection. But the Eagle never noticed the Beetle 
because it was so small, seized the hare and ate her up. 
The Beetle never forgot this, and used to keep an eye on 
the Eagle's nest, and whenever the Eagle laid an egg 
it climbed up and rolled it out of the nest and broke it. 
At last the Eagle got so worried over the loss of her eggs 
that she went up to Jupiter, who is the special protector of 
Eagles, and begged him to give her a safe place to nest 
in : so he let her lay her eggs in his lap. But the Beetle 

178 



noticed this and made a ball of dirt the size of an Eagle's 
egg, and flew up and deposited it in Jupiter's lap. When 
Jupiter saw the dirt, he stood up to shake It out of his 
robe, and, forgetting about the eggs, he shook them out 
too, and they were broken just as before. Ever since 
then, they say, Eagles never lay their eggs at the season 
when Beetles are about. 

The weak will sometimes find ways 
to avenge an insult, even upon the 
strong. 



THE FOWLER AND THE LARK 

A FOWLER was setting his nets for little birds when 
^^^- a Lark came up to him and asked him what he 
was doing. " I am engaged in founding a city," said 
he, and with that he withdrew to a short distance and 
concealed himself. The Lark examined the nets with 
great curiosity, and presently, catching sight of the bait, 
hopped on to them in order to secure it, and became 
entangled in the meshes. The Fowler then ran up 
quickly and captured her. " What a fool I was ! " said 
she : " but at any rate, if that's the kind of city you are 
founding, it'll be a long time before you find fools enough 
to fill it." 



179 



THE FISHERMAN PIPING 

A FISHERMAN who could play the flute went 
-^^^ down one day to the sea-shore with his nets and 
his flute ; and, taking his stand on a projecting rock, 
began to play a tune, thinking that the music would 
bring the fish jumping out of the sea. He went on 
playing for some time, but not a fish appeared : so at 
last he threw down his flute and cast his net into the sea, 
and made a great haul of fish. When they were landed 
and he saw them leaping about on the shore, he cried, 
You rascals ! you wouldn't dance when I piped : but 
now I've stopped, you can do nothing else ! " 



THE WEASEL AND THE MAN 

A MAN once caught a Weasel, which was always 
sneaking about the house, and was just going 
to drown it in a tub of water, when it begged hard for 
its life, and said to him, " Surely you haven't the heart 
to put me to death ? Think how useful I have been m 
clearing your house of the mice and lizards which used 
to infest it, and show your gratitude by sparing my life.'' 
*' You have not been altogether useless, I grant you,' 
said the Man : " but who killed the fowls ? Who stole 
the meat ? No, no ! You do much m.ore harm than 
good, and die you shall." 



180 




THE FISHERMAN PIPING 



THE PLOUGHMAN, THE ASS, AND THE OX 

A PLOUGHMAN yoked his Ox and his Ass together, 
and set to work to plough his field. It was a poor 
makeshift of a team, but it was the best he could do, as he 
had but a single Ox. At the end of the day, when the beasts 
were loosed from the yoke, the Ass said to the Ox, " Well, 
we've had a hard day : which of us is to carry the master 
home ? " The Ox looked surprised at the question. 
*' Why," said he, " you, to be sure, as usual." 



DEMADES AND HIS FABLE 

FAEMADES the orator was once speaking in the 
^^ Assembly at Athens ; but the people were very 
inattentive to what he was saying, so he stopped and said, 
" Gentlemen, I should like to tell you one of i^sop's 
fables." This made every one listen intently. Then 
Demades began : " Demeter, a Swallow, and an Eel 
were once travelling together, and came to a river without 
a bridge : the Swallow flew over it, and the Eel swam 
across " ; and then he stopped. " What happened to 
Demeter ? " cried several people in the audience. 
" Demeter," he replied, " is very angry with you for 
listening to fables when you ought to be minding public 
business." 



183 



THE MONKEY AND THE DOLPHIN 

WHEN people go on a voyage they often take with 
them lap-dogs or monkeys as pets to wile away 
the time. Thus it fell out that a man returning to Athens 
from the East had a pet Monkey on board with him. 
As they neared the coast of Attica a great storm burst 
upon them, and the ship capsized. All on board were 
thrown into the water, and tried to save themselves by 
swimming, the Monkey among the rest. A Dolphin 
saw him, and, supposing him to be a man, took him on 
his back and began swimming towards the shore. When 
they got near the Piraeus, which is the port of Athens, 
the Dolphin asked the Monkey if he was an Athenian. 
The Monkey replied that he was, and added that he came 
of a very distinguished family. " Then, of course, you 
know the Piraeus," continued the Dolphin. The Monkey 
thought he was referring to some high official or other, 
and replied, " Oh, yes, he's a very old friend of mine.'* 
At that, detecting his hypocrisy, the Dolphin was so 
disgusted that he dived below the surface, and the 
unfortunate Monkey was quickly drowned. 




184 




D- 

o 

Q 

H 

Q 
Z 

< 

z 

o 






THE CROW AND THE SNAKE 



A 



HUNGRY Crow spied a Snake lying asleep in a 
sunny spot, and, picking it up in his claws, 
he was carrying it off to a place where he could make a 
meal of it without being disturbed, when the Snake 
reared its head and bit him. It was a poisonous Snake, 
and the bite was fatal, and the dying Crow said, " What 
a cruel fate is mine ! I thought I had made a lucky find, 
and it has cost me my life ! " 



THE DOGS AND THE FOX 

SOME Dogs once found a lion's skin, and were 
worrying it with their teeth. Just then a Fox 
came by, and said, " You think yourselves very brave, no 
doubt ; but if that were a live lion you'd find his claws 
a good deal sharper than your teeth." 



THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE HAWK 

A NIGHTINGALE was sitting on a bough of an 
-^^^ oak and singing, as her custom was. A hungry 
Hawk presently spied her, and darting to the spot 
seized her in his talons. He was just about to tear 
her in pieces when she begged him to spare her life : 

187 



rm not big enough," she pleaded, " to make you a 
good meal : you ought to seek your prey among the 
bigger birds." The Hawk eyed her with some contempt. 
*' You must think me very simple," said he, " if you 
suppose I am gomg to give up a certain prize on the 
chance of a better of which I see at present no signs." 



THE ROSE AND THE AMARANTH 

A ROSE and an Amaranth blossomed side by side in 
^^~^ a garden, and the Amaranth said to her neighbour, 
" How I envy you your beauty and your sweet scent ! 
No wonder you are such a universal favourite." But the 
Rose replied with a shade of sadness in her voice, " Ah, 
my dear friend, I bloom but for a time : my petals soon 
wither and fall, and then I die. But your flowers never 
fade, even if they are cut ; for they are everlasting." 



THE MAN, THE HORSE, THE OX, AND THE 
DOG 

/^NE winter's day, during a severe storm, a Horse, 
^■^^ an Ox, and a Dog came and begged for shelter 
in the house of a Man. He readily admitted them, 
and, as they were cold and wet, he lit a fire for their 
188 



comfort : and he put oats before the Horse, and hay before 
the Ox, while he fed the Dog with the remains of his own 
dinner. When the storm abated, and they were about to 
depart, they determined to show their gratitude in the 
following way. They divided the life of Man among them, 
and each endowed one part of it with the qualities which 
were peculiarly his own. The Horse took youth, and 
hence young men are high-mettled and impatient of 
restraint ; the Ox took middle age, and accordingly 
men in middle life are steady and hard-working ; while 
the Dog took old age, which is the reason why old men 
are so often peevish and ill-tempered, and, like dogs, 
attached chiefly to those who look to their comfort, 
while they are disposed to snap at those who are 
unfamiliar or distasteful to them. 



THE WOLVES, THE SHEEP, AND THE RAM 

' I 'HE Wolves sent a deputation to the Sheep with 
-*■ proposals for a lasting peace between them, on 
condition of their giving up the sheep-dogs to instant 
death. The foolish Sheep agreed to the terms ; but an 
old Ram, whose years had brought him wisdom, inter- 
fered and said, " How can we expect to live at peace with 
you ? Why, even with the dogs at hand to protect us, 
we are never secure from your murderous attacks ! " 



IfiQ 



THE SWAN 

' I 'HE Swan is said to sing but once in its life — when it 
^ knows that it is about to die. A certain man, who 
had heard of the song of the Swan, one day saw one of 
these birds for sale in the market, and bought it and took 
it home with him. A few days later he had some friends 
to dinner, and produced the Swan, and bade it sing for 
their entertainment : but the Swan remained silent. 
In course of time, when it was growing old, it became 
aware of its approaching end and broke into a sweet, 
sad song. When its owner heard it, he said angrily, " If 
the creature only sings when it is about to die, what a fool 
I was that day I wanted to hear its song ! I ought to 
have wrung its neck instead of merely inviting it to 
sing." 



THE SNAKE AND JUPITER 

A SNAKE suffered a good deal from being constantly 
^^^ trodden upon by man and beast, owing partly to 
the length of his body and partly to his being unable to 
raise himself above the surface of the ground : so he 
went and complained to Jupiter about the risks to which 
he was exposed. But Jupiter had little sympathy for 
him. " I dare say," said he, " that if you had bitten 
the first that trod on you, the others would have taken 
more trouble to look where they put their feet." 

190 




THE WOLF AND HIS SHADOW 

A WOLF, who was roaming about on the plain 
-^*^ when the sun was getting low in the sky, was 
much impressed by the size of his shadow, and said 
to himself, " I had no idea I was so big. Fancy my 
being afraid of a lion ! Why, I, not he, ought to be 
King of the beasts " ; and, heedless of danger, he 
strutted about as if there could be no doubt at all about 
it. Just then a lion sprang upon him and began to 
devour him. " Alas," he cried, " had I not lost sight of 
the facts, I shouldn't have been ruined by my fancies. " 

191 



THE PLOUGHMAN AND THE WOLF 

A PLOUGHMAN loosed his oxen from the plough, 
•^~^ and led them away to the water to drink. While 
he was absent a half-starved Wolf appeared on the scene, 
and went up to the plough and began chewing the leather 
straps attached to the yoke. As he gnawed away des- 
perately in the hope of satisfying his craving for food, 
he somehow got entangled in the harness, and, taking 
fright, struggled to get free, tugging at the traces as if he 
would drag the plough along with him. Just then the 
Ploughman came back, and seeing what was happening, 
he cried, " Ah, you old rascal, I wish you would give up 
thieving for good and take to honest work instead." 



MERCURY AND THE MAN BITTEN BY AN 
ANT 

A MAN once saw a ship go down with all its crew, 
^^^^ and commented severely on the injustice of the gods. 
" They care nothing for a man's character," said he, 
" but let the good and the bad go to their deaths together." 
There was an ant-heap close by where he was standing, 
and, just as he spoke, he was bitten in the foot by an Ant. 
Turning in a temper to the ant-heap he stamped upon it 
and crushed hundreds of unoffending ants. Suddenly 
Mercury appeared, and belaboured him with his staff, 
saying as he did so, " You villain, where's your nice 
sense of justice now ? " 

192 



THE WILY LION 

A LION watched a fat Bull feeding In a meadow, and 
-^^^ his mouth watered when he thought of the royal 
feast he would make, but he did not dare to attack him, 
for he was afraid of his sharp horns. Hunger, however, 
presently compelled him to do something : and as the use 
of force did not promise success, he determined to resort 
to artifice. Going up to the Bull In friendly fashion, 
he said to him, " I cannot help saying how much I admire 
your magnificent figure. What a fine head ! What 
powerful shoulders and thighs ! But, my dear friend, 
what In the world makes you wear those ugly horns ? 
You must find them as awkward as they are unsightly. 
Believe me, you would do much better without them." 
The Bull was foolish enough to be persuaded by this 
flattery to have his horns cut off ; and, having now lost 
his only means of defence, fell an easy prey to the Lion. 



THE PARROT AND THE CAT 

A MAN once bought a Parrot and gave It the run of 
-^^ his house. It revelled in Its liberty, and presently 
flew up on to the mantelpiece and screamed away to Its 
heart's content. The noise disturbed the Cat, who was 
asleep on the hearthrug. Looking up at the Intruder, 
she said, " Who may you be, and where have you come 
from?" The Parrot replied, "Your master has just 

2 b 193 



bought me and brought me home with him." " You 
impudent bird, " said the Cat, " how dare you, a new- 
comer, make a noise hke that ? Why, I was born here, 
and have hved here all my life, and yet, if I venture to 
mew, they throw things at me and chase me all over the 
place." " Look here, mistress," said the Parrot, *' you 
just hold your tongue. My voice they delight in ; but 
yours — yours is a perfect nuisance." 



THE STAG AND THE LION 

A STAG was chased by the hounds, and took refuge in 
-^^ a cave, where he hoped to be safe from his pursuers. 
Unfortunately the cave contained a Lion, to whom he 
fell an easy prey. *' Unhappy that I am," he cried, " I 
am saved from the power of the dogs only to fall into 
the clutches of a Lion." 



Out of the frying-pan into the fire. 



THE IMPOSTOR 

A CERTAIN man fell ill, and, being in a very bad 
way, he made a vow that he would sacrifice a 
hundred oxen to the gods if they would grant him a return 
to health. Wishing to see how he would keep his vow, 
194 



they caused Him to recover in a short time. Now, he 
hadn't an ox in the world, so he made a hundred httle 
oxen out of tallow and offered them up on an altar, at 
the same time saying, " Ye gods, I call you to witness 
that I have discharged my vow." The gods determined 
to be even with him, so they sent him a dream, in which 
he was bidden to go to the sea-shore and fetch a hundred 
crowns which he was to find there. Hastening m great 
excitement to the shore, he fell in with a band of robbers, 
who seized him and earned him off to sell as a slave : 
and when they sold him a hundred crowns was the sum 
he fetched. 

Do not promise more than you can 

perform. 



THE DOGS AND THE HIDES 

ONCE upon a time a number of Dogs, who were 
famished with hunger, saw some Hides steeping 
in a river, but couldn't get at them because the water was 
too deep. So they put their heads together, and decided 
to drink away at the river till it was shallow enough for 
them to reach the Hides. But long before that happened 
they burst themselves with drinking,. 



195 




^^^».CfvM^ 



THE LION, THE FOX, AND THE ASS 

A LION, a Fox, and an Ass went out hunting together. 
•^^- They had soon taken a large booty, which the 
Lion requested the Ass to divide between them. The 
Ass divided it all into three equal parts, and modestly 
begged the others to take their choice ; at which the 
Lion, bursting with fury, sprang upon the Ass and tore 
him to pieces. Then, glaring at the Fox, he bade him 
make a fresh division. The Fox gathered almost the 
whole in one great heap for the Lion's share, leaving 
only the smallest possible morsel for himself. " My 
dear friend," said the Lion, " how did you get the knack 

1% 



of it so well ? " The Fox replied, " Me? Oh, I took 
a lesson from the Ass." 

Happy Is he who learns from the 
misfortunes of others. 



THE FOWLER, THE PARTRIDGE, AND THE 
COCK 

ONE day, as a Fowler was sitting down to a scanty 
supper of herbs and bread, a friend dropped in 
unexpectedly. The larder was empty ; so he went out 
and caught a tame Partridge, which he kept as a decoy, 
and was about to wring her neck when she cried, " Surely 
you won't kill me ? Why, what will you do without me 
next time you go fowling ? How will you get the 
birds to come to your nets ? " He let her go at this, 
and went to his hen-house, where he had a plump young 
Cock. When the Cock saw what he was after, he too 
pleaded for his life, and said, " If you kill me, how will 
you know the time of night ? and who will wake you 
up in the morning when it is time to get to work ? ' 
The Fowler, however, replied, " You are useful for telling 
the time, I know ; but, for all that, I can't send my 
friend supperless to bed." And therewith he caught him 
and wrung his neck. 



m 




THE GNAT AND THE LION 



A GNAT once went up to a Lion and said, ** I am not 
*^^ in the least afraid of you : I don't even allow that 
you are a match for me in strength. What does your 
strength amount to after all ? That you can scratch with 
your claws and bite with your teeth — just like a woman 
in a temper — and nothing more. But I'm stronger 
than you : if you don't beheve it, let us fight and see.'* 
So saying, the Gnat sounded his horn, and darted in 
and bit the Lion on the nose. When the Lion felt the 
sting, in his haste to crush him he scratched his nose 
badly, and made it bleed, but failed altogether to hurt the 
198 



THE GNAT AND THE LION 



Gnat, which buzzed off in triumph, elated by its victory. 
Presently, however, it got entangled in a spider's web, 
and was caught and eaten by the spider, thus falling a 
prey to an insignificant insect after having triumphed 
over the King of the Beasts. 



THE FARMER AND HIS DOGS 

A FARMER was snowed up in his farmstead by a severe 
^^^^ storm, and was unable to go out and procure pro- 
visions for himself and his family. So he first killed 
his sheep and used them for food ; then, as the storm 
still continued, he killed his goats ; and, last of all, as 
the weather showed no signs of improving, he was com- 
pelled to kill his oxen and eat them. When his Dogs 
sav/ the various animals being killed and eaten in turn, 
they said to one another, " We had better get out of this 
or we shall be the next to go ! " 



THE EAGLE AND THE FOX 

A N Eagle and a Fox became great friends and deter- 

mined to live near one another : they thought 

that the more they saw of each other the better friends 

they would be. So the Eagle built a nest at the top of a 

high tree, while the Fox settled in a thicket at the foot 

199 



of it and produced a litter of cubs. One day the Fox 
went out foraging for food, and the Eagle, who also 
wanted food for her young, flew down into the thicket, 
caught up the Fox's cubs, and carried them up into the 
tree for a meal for herself and her family. When the 
Fox came back, and found out what had happened, she 
was not so much sorry for the loss of her cubs as furious 
because she couldn't get at the Eagle and pay her out 
for her treachery. So she sat down not far off and cursed 
her. But it wasn't long before she had her revenge. 
Some villagers happened to be sacrificing a goat on a 
neighbouring altar, and the Eagle flew down and carried 
off a piece of burning flesh to her nest. There was a 
strong wind blowing, and the nest caught fire, with 
the result that her fledglings fell half-roasted to the 
ground. Then the Fox ran to the spot and devoured 
them in full sight of the Eagle. 

False faith may escape human punish- 
ment, but cannot escape the divine. 



THE BUTCHER AND HIS CUSTOMERS 

' I 'WO Men were buying meat at a Butcher's stall in 
^ the market-place, and, while the Butcher's back 
was turned for a moment, one of them snatched up a 
joint and hastily thrust it under the other's cloak, where 
it could not be seen. When the Butcher turned round, 
200 



he missed the meat at once, and charged them with 
having stolen it : but the one who had taken it said 
he hadn't got it, and the one who had got it said he hadn't 
taken it. The Butcher felt sure they were deceiving 
him, but he only said, " You may cheat me with your 
lying, but you can't cheat the gods, and they won't 
let you off so lightly." 

Prevarication often amounts to perjury. 



HERCULES AND MINERVA 

T T ERCULES was once travelling along a narrow road 
^ ^ when he saw lying on the ground in front of him 
what appeared to be an apple, and as he passed he stamped 
upon it with his heel. To his astonishment, instead of 
being crushed it doubled in size ; and, on his attacking 
it again and smiting it with his club, it swelled up to an 
enormous size and blocked up the whole road. Upon 
this he dropped his club, and stood looking at it in amaze- 
ment. Just then Minerva appeared, and said to him, 
*' Leave it alone, my friend ; that which you see before 
you is the apple of discord : if you do not meddle with 
it, it remains small as it was at first, but if you resort 
to violence it swells into the thing you see." 



201 



THE FOX WHO SERVED A LION 

A LION had a Fox to attend on him, and whenever 
'^^- they went hunting the Fox found the prey and the 
Lion fell upon it and killed it, and then they divided it 
between them in certain proportions. But the Lion 
eJways got a very large share, and the Fox a very small 
one, which didn't please the latter at all ; so he deter- 
mined to set up on his own account. He began by 
trying to steal a lamb from a flock of sheep : but the 
shepherd saw him and set his dogs on him. The hunter 
was now the hunted, and was very soon caught and 
despatched by the dogs. 

Better servitude with safety than free- 
dom with danger. 



THE QUACK DOCTOR 

A CERTAIN man fell sick and took to his bed. He 
-^^- consulted a number of doctors from time to time, 
and they all, with one exception, told him that his life 
was in no immediate danger, but that his illness would 
probably last a considerable time. The one who took 
a different view of his case, who was also the last to be 
consulted, bade him prepare for the worst : " You have 
not twenty-four hours to live, " said he, " and I fear I 
can do nothing." As it turned out, however, he was 
202 



quite wrong ; for at the end of a few days the sick man 
quitted his bed and took a walk abroad, looking, it is true, 
as pale as a ghost. In the course of his walk he met the 
Doctor who had prophesied his death. " Dear me," 
said the latter, *' how do you do ? You are fresh from 
the other world, no doubt. Pray, how are our departed 
friends getting on there ? " ' Most comfortably," replied 
the other, " for they have drunk the water of oblivion, 
and have forgotten all the troubles of life. By the way, 
just before I left, the authorities were making arrange- 
ments to prosecute all the doctors, because they won't 
let sick men die in the course of nature, but use their arts 
to keep them alive. They were going to charge you 
along with the rest, till I assured them that you were no 
doctor, but a mere impostor." 



THE LION, THE WOLF, AND THE FOX 

A LION, infirm with age, lay sick in his den, and all 
^~^ the beacts of the forest came to inquire after his 
health with the exception of the Fox. The Wolf thought 
this was a good opportunity for paying off old scores 
against the Fox, so he called the attention of the Lion 
to his absence, and said, " You see, sire, that we have all 
come to see how you are except the Fox, who hasn't come 
near you, and doesn't care whether you are well or ill.'* 
Just then the Fox came in and heard the last words of the 
Wolf. The Lion roared at him in deep displeasure, 

203 



but he begged to be allowed to explain his absence, 
and said, " Not one of them cares for you so much as 
I, sire, for all the time I have been going round to the 
doctors and trying to find a cure for your illness. " " And 
may I ask if you have found one ? " said the Lion. " I 
have, sire," said the Fox, " and it is this : you must 
flay a Wolf and wrap yourself in his skin while it is still 
warm." The Lion accordingly turned to the Wolf 
and struck him dead with one blow of his paw, in order 
to try the Fox's prescription ; but the Fox laughed and 
said to himself, " That's what comes of stirring up 
ill-will." 



HERCULES AND PLUTUS 

\Y7HEN Hercules was received among the gods 
^^ and was entertained at a banquet by Jupiter, 
he responded courteously to the greetings of all with the 
exception of Plutus, the god of wealth. When Plutus 
approached him, he cast his eyes upon the ground, 
and turned away and pretended not to see him. Jupiter 
was surprised at this conduct on his part, and asked why, 
after having been so cordial with all the other gods, 
he had behaved like that to Plutus. " Sire," said 
Hercules, *' I do not like Plutus, and I will tell you why. 
When we were on earth together I always noticed that 
he was to be found in the company of scoundrels." 

204 







/^ 
/<';' 




THE FOX AND THE LEOPARD 

A FOX and a Leopard were disputing about their 
■^^^ looks, and each claimed to be the more handsome 
of the two. The Leopard said, " Look at my smart 
coat ; you have nothing to match that." But the Fox 
replied, " Your coat may be smart, but my wits are 
smarter still." 



THE FOX AND THE HEDGEHOG 

A FOX, in swimming across a rapid river, was swept 
^^*^ away by the current and carried a long way down- 
stream in spite of his struggles, until at last, bruised and 
exhausted, he managed to scramble on to dry ground 
from a backwater. As he lay there unable to move, a 
swarm of horseflies settled on him and sucked his blood 
undisturbed, for he was too weak even to shake them off. 

205 



A Hedgehog saw lilm, and asked if he should brush away 
the flies that were tormenting him ; but the Fox repHed, 
" Oh, please, no, not on any account, for these flies 
have sucked their fill and are taking very little from me 
now ; but, if you drive them ofl-, another swarm of 
hungry ones will come and suck all the blood I have 
left, and leave me without a drop in my veins." 



THE CROW AND THE RAVEN 

A CROW became very jealous of a Raven, because 
-^^^ the latter was regarded by men as a bird of omen 
which foretold the future, and was accordingly held in 
great respect by them. She was very anxious to get the 
same sort of reputation herself ; and, one day, seeing 
some travellers approaching, she flew on to a branch of a 
tree at the roadside and cawed as loud as she could. The 
travellers were in some dismay at the sound, for they 
feared it might be a bad omen ; till one of them, spying 
the Crow, said to his companions, " It's all right, my 
friends, we can go on without fear, for it's only a crow 
and that means nothing. " 

Those who pretend to be something 
they are not only make themselves 
ridiculous. 



206 



THE WITCH 

A WITCH professed to be able to avert the anger 
•^^ of the g:jds by means of charms, of which she 
alone possessed the secret ; and she drove a brisk trade, 
and made a fat livelihood out of it. But certain persons 
accused her of black magic and carried her before the 
judges, and demanded that she should be put to death 
for dealings with the Devil. She was found guilty 
and condemned to death : and one of the judges said to 
her as she was leaving the dock, " You say you can 
avert the anger of the gods. How comes it, then, that 
you have failed to disarm the enmity of men ? " 



THE OLD MAN AND DEATH 

A N Old Man cut himself a bundle of faggots in a 
-^^^ wood and started to carry them home. He had a 
long way to go, and was tired out before he had got 
much more than half-way. Casting his burden on the 
ground, he called upon Death to come and release him 
from his life of toil. The words were scarcely out of 
his mouth when, much to his dismay. Death stood 
before him and professed his readiness to serve him. 
He was almost frightened out of his wits, but he had 
enough presence of mmd to stammer out, " Good sir, 
if you'd be so kind, pray help me up with my burden 
again." 

207 



THE MISER 

A MISER sold everything he had, and melted down his 
-^^- hoard of gold into a single lump, which he buried 
secretly in a field. Every day he went to look at it, and 
would sometimes spend long hours gloatmg over his 
treasure. One of his men noticed his frequent visits 
to the spot, and one day watched him and discovered 
his secret. Waiting his opportunity, he went one night 
and dug up the gold and stole it. Next day the Miser 
visited the place as usual, and, finding his treasure gone, 
fell to tearing his hair and groaning over his loss. In 
this condition he was seen by one of his neighbours, 
who asked him what his trouble was. The Miser told 
him of his misfortune ; but the other replied, " Don't 
take it so much to heart, my friend ; put a brick into the 
hole, and take a look at it every day : you won't be any 
worse off than before, for even when you had your gold 
it was of no earthly use to you." 



THE FOXES AND THE RIVER 

A NUMBER of Foxes assembled on the bank of a 
^~^ river and wanted to drink ; but the current was 
so strong and the water looked so deep and dangerous 
that they didn't dare to do so, but stood near the edge 
encouraging one another not to be afraid. At last one 
of them, to shame the rest, and show how brave he was, 
208 




UJ 



UJ 

X, 



2d 



said, " I am not a bit frightened ! See, I'll step right 
into the water ! " He had no sooner done so than the 
current swept him off his feet. When the others saw 
him being carried down-stream they cried, *' Don't go 
and leave us ! Come back and show us where we too 
can drink with safety." But he replied, " I'm afraid 
I can't yet : I want to go to the seaside, and this current 
will take me there nicely. When I come back I'll show 
you with pleasure." 



THE HORSE AND THE STAG 

' I 'HERE was once a Horse who used to graze m a 
-'■ meadow which he had all to himself. But one 
day a Stag came into the meadow, and said he had as good 
a right to feed there as the Horse, and moreover chose 
all the best places for himself. The Horse, wishing to 
be revenged upon his unwelcome visitor, went to a man 
and asked if he would help him to turn out the Stag. 
'* Yes,'* said the man, ' I will by all means ; but I can 
only do so if you let me put a bridle in your mouth 
and mount on your back.' The Horse agreed to this, 
and the two together very soon turned the Stag out of 
the pasture : but when that was done, the Horse found 
to his dismay that in the man he had got a master for 
good. 



211 



THE FOX AND THE BRAMBLE 

T N making his way through a hedge a Fox missed his 
-*■ footing and caught at a Bramble to save himself 
from falling. Naturally, he got badly scratched, and in 
disgust he cried to the Bramble, " It was your help I 
wanted, and see how you have treated me ! I'd sooner 
have fallen outright." The Bramble, interrupting him, 
replied, " You must have lost your wits, my friend, to 
catch at me, who am myself always catching at others." 



THE FOX AND THE SNAKE 

A SNAKE, in crossing a river, was carried away by 
-^^^ the current, but managed to wriggle on to a 
bundle of thorns which was floating by, and was thus 
carried at a great rate down-stream. A Fox caught sight 
of it from the bank as it went whirling along, and called 
out, " Gad ! the passenger fits the ship ! " 



THE LION, THE FOX, AND THE STAG 

A LION lay sick in his den, unable to provide himself 
-^^^ with food. So he said to his friend the Fox, 
who came to ask how he did, " My good friend, I wish 
you would go to yonder wood and beguile the big Stag, 

212 



who lives there, to come to my den : I have a fancy 
to make my dmner off a stag's heart and brams." The 
Fox went to the wood and found the Stag and said to 
him, " My dear sir, you're m luck. You know the Lion, 
our King : well, he's at the point of death, and has 
appointed you his successor to rule over the beasts. 
I hope you won't forget that I was the first to bring you 
the good news. And now I must be going back to him ; 
and, if you take my advice, you'll come too and be with 
him at the last." The Stag was highly flattered, and 
followed the Fox to the Lion's den, suspecting nothing. 
No sooner had he got inside than the Lion sprang upon 
him, but he misjudged his spring, and the Stag got away 
with only his ears torn, and returned as fast as he could 
to the shelter of the wood. The Fox was much mortified, 
and the Lion, too, was dreadfully disappointed, for he was 
getting very hungry in spite of his illness. So he begged 
the Fox to have another try at coaxing the Stag to his 
den. " It'll be almost impossible this time," said the 
Fox, " but I'll try " ; and off he went to the wood a 
second time, and found the Stag resting and trying to 
recover from his fright. As soon as he saw the Fox he 
cried, " You scoundrel, what do you mean by trying to 
lure me to my death like that ? Take yourself off, or I'll 
do you to death with my horns." But the Fox was 
entirely shameless. " What a coward you were, ' said he ; 
** surely you didn't think the Lion meant any harm? Why, 
he was only going to whisper some royal secrets into 
your ear when you went off like a scared rabbit. You 
have rather disgusted him, and I'm not sure he won't 

213 



make the wolf King instead, unless you come back at 
once and show you've got some spirit. I promise you 
he won't hurt you, and I will be your faithful servant." 
The Stag was foolish enough to be persuaded to return, 
and this time the Lion made no mistake, but overpowered 
him, and feasted right royally upon his carcase. The 
Fox, meanwhile, watched his chance and, when the Lion 
wasn't looking, filched away the brains to reward him 
for his trouble. Presently the Lion began searching for 
them, of course without success : and the Fox, who was 
watching him, said, " I don't think it's much use your 
looking for the brains : a creature who twice walked into 
a Lion's den can't have got any." 



THE MAN WHO LOST HIS SPADE 

A MAN was engaged in digging over his vineyard, 
-^^^ and one day on coming to work he missed his 
Spade. Thinking it may have been stolen by one of his 
labourers, he questioned them closely, but they one and 
all denied any knowledge of it. He was not convinced 
by their denials, and insisted that they should all go to 
the town and take oath in a temple that they were not 
guilty of the theft. This was because he had no great 
opinion of the simple country deities, but thought that 
the thief would not pass undetected by the shrewder 
gods of the town. When they got inside the gates 
the first thing they heard was the town crier proclaiming 
214 



a reward for information about a thief who had stolen 
something from the city temple. " Well," said the 
Man to himself, " it strikes me I had better go back home 
again. If these town gods can't detect the thieves who 
steal from their own temples, it's scarcely likely they can 
tell me who stole my Spade." 



THE PARTRIDGE AND THE FOWLER 

A FOWLER caught a Partridge in his nets, and was 
-^^^ just about to wring its neck when it made a 
piteous appeal to him to spare its life and said, " Do not 
kill me, but let me live and I will repay you for your 
kindness by decoying other partridges into your nets." 
" No," said the Fowler, " I will not spare you. I was 
going to kill you anyhow, and after that treacherous 
speech you thoroughly deserve your fate." 



THE RUNAWAY SLAVE 

A SLAVE, being discontented with his lot, ran away 
-^^^ from his master. He was soon missed by the 
latter, who lost no time in mounting his horse and setting 
out in pursuit of the fugitive. He presently came up 
with him, and the Slave, in the hope of avoiding capture, 
slipped into a treadmill and hid himself there. " Aha," 
said his master, " that's the very place for you, my man ! " 

215 




THE HUNTER AND THE WOODMAN 

A HUNTER was searching in the forest for the tracks 
of a lion, and, catching sight presently of a 
Woodman engaged in felling a tree, he went up to him 
and asked him if he had noticed a lion's footprints 
anywhere about, or if he knew where his den was. The 
Woodman answered, *' If you will come with me, I will 
show you the lion himself." The Hunter turned pale 
with fear, and his teeth chattered as he replied, " Oh, 
I'm not looking for the lion, thanks, but only for his 
tracks." 



THE SERPENT AND THE EAGLE 

AN Eagle swooped down upon a Serpent and seized 
it in his talons with the intention of carrying it 
off and devouring it. But the Serpent was too quick for 
him and had its coils round him in a moment ; and then 
216 



there ensued a life-and-death struggle between the two. 
A countryman, who was a witness of the encounter, 
came to the assistance of the Eagle, and succeeded in 
freeing him from the Serpent and enablmg him to escape. 
In revenge the Serpent spat some of his poison into the 
man's drinking-horn. Heated with his exertions, the 
man was about to slake his thirst with a draught from the 
horn, when the Eagle knocked it out of his hand, and 
spilled its contents upon the ground. 

One good turn deserves another. 



THE ROGUE AND THE ORACLE 

A ROGUE laid a wager that he would prove the 
Oracle at Delphi to be untrustworthy by procuring 
from it a false reply to an inquiry by himself. So he 
went to the temple on the appointed day with a small bird 
in his hand, which he concealed under the folds of his 
cloak, and asked whether what he held in his hand were 
alive or dead. If the Oracle said " dead," he meant to 
produce the bird alive : if the reply was " alive," he 
intended to wring its neck and show it to be dead. But 
the Oracle was one too many for him, for the answer 
he got was this : " Stranger, whether the thing that you 
hold in your hand be alive or dead is a matter that depends 
entirely on your own will." 

2e 217 




THE HORSE AND THE ASS 

AHORSE, proud of his fine harness, met an Ass on 
the high-road. As the Ass with his heavy burden 
moved slowly out of the way to let him pass, the Horse 
cried out impatiently that he could hardly resist kicking 
him to make him move faster. The Ass held his peace, 
but did not forget the other's insolence. Not long after- 
wards the Horse became broken-winded, and was sold 
by his owner to a farmer. One day, as he was drawing 
a dung-cart, he met the Ass again, who in turn derided 
him and said, " Aha ! you never thought to come to 
this, did you, you who were so proud ! Where are all 
your gay trappings now? " 
218 



THE DOG CHASING A WOLF 

A DOG was chasing a Wolf, and as he ran he thought 
what a fine fellow he was, and what strong legs 
he had, and how quickly they covered the ground. 
" Now, there's this Wolf," he said to himself, "what 
a poor creature he is : he's no match for me, and he 
knows it and so he runs away. " But the Wolf looked 
round just then and said, " Don't you imagine I'm 
running away from you, my friend : it's your master I'm 
afraid of." 



GRIEF AND HIS DUE 

TV/^EN Jupiter was assigning the various gods their 
^^ privileges, it so happened that Grief was not 
present with the rest : but when all had received their 
share, he too entered and claimed his due. Jupiter 
was at a loss to know what to do, for there was nothing 
left for him. However, at last he decided that to him 
should belong the tears that are shed for the dead. Thus 
it is the same with Grief as it is with the other gods. 
The more devoutly men render to him his due, the more 
lavish is he of that which he has to bestow. It is not 
well, therefore, to mourn long for the departed ; else 
Grief, whose sole pleasure is in such mourning, will be 
quick to send fresh cause for tears. 

219 



THE HAWK, THE KITE, AND THE PIGEONS 

' I 'HE Pigeons in a certain dovecote were persecuted 
-^ by a Kite, who every now and then swooped down 
and carried off one of their number. So they invited 
a Hawk into the dovecote to defend them against their 
enemy. But they soon repented of their folly : for the 
Hawk killed more of them in a day than the Kite had done 
in a year. 



THE WOMAN AND THE FARMER 

A WOMAN, who had lately lost her husband, used 
-^^^ to go every day to his grave and lament her loss. 
A Farmer, who was engaged in ploughing not far from 
the spot, set eyes upon the Woman and desired to have her 
for his wife : so he left his plough and came and sat 
by her side, and began to shed tears himself. She asked 
him why he wept ; and he replied, " I have lately lost my 
wife, who was very dear to me, and tears ease my grief." 
" And I," said she, " have lost my husband." And so 
for a while they mourned in silence. Then he said, 
*' Since you and I are in like case, shall we not do well to 
marry and live together? I shall take the place of your 
dead husband, and you, that of my dead wife." The 
Woman consented to the plan, which indeed seemed 
reasonable enough : and they dried their tears. Mean- 
while, a thief had come and stolen the oxen which the 
220 



Farmer had left with his plough. On discovering the 
theft, he beat his breast and loudly bewailed his loss. 
When the Woman heard his cries, she came and said, 
" Why, are you weeping still ? " To which he replied* 
" Yes, and I mean it this time.'* 



PROMETHEUS AND THE MAKING OF MAN 

AT the bidding of Jupiter, Prometheus set about the 
creation of Man and the other animals. Jupiter, 
seeing that Mankind, the only rational creatures, were 
far outnumbered by the irrational beasts, bade him 
redress the balance by turning some of the latter into 
men. Prometheus did as he was bidden, and this is 
the reason why some people have the forms of men but 
the souls of beasts. 



THE SWALLOW AND THE CROW 

A SWALLOW was once boasting to a Crow about her 
-^^^ birth. " I was once a princess," said she, '' the 
daughter of a King of Athens, but my husband used me 
cruelly, and cut out my tongue for a slight fault. Then, 
to protect me from further injury, I was turned by Juno 
into a bird." " You chatter quite enough as it is,'* 
said the Crow. " What you would have been like if you 
hadn't lost your tongue, I can't think." 

221 



THE HUNTER AND THE HORSEMAN 

A HUNTER went out after game, and succeeded in 
-^^^ catching a hare, which he was carrying home with 
him when he met a man on horseback, who said to him, 
" You have had some sport I see, sir," and offered to 
buy it. The Hunter readily agreed ; but the Horseman 
had no sooner got the hare in his hands than he set 
spurs to his horse and went off at full gallop. The 
Hunter ran after him for some little distance ; but it 
soon dawned upon him that he had been tricked, and 
he gave up trying to overtake the Horseman, and, to 
save his face, called after him as loud as he could, " All 
right, sir, all right, take your hare : it was meant all 
along as a present." 



THE GOATHERD AND THE WILD GOATS 

A GOATHERD was tending his goats out at pasture 
-^^ when he saw a number of Wild Goats approach 
and mingle with his flock. At the end of the day he 
drove them home and put them all into the pen together. 
Next day the weather was so bad that he could not take 
them out as usual ; so he kept them at home in the pen, 
and fed them there. He only gave his own goats enough 
food to keep them from starving, but he gave the Wild 
Goats as much as they could eat and more ; for he was 
very anxious for them to stay, and he thought that if he 
222 



fed them well they wouldn't v/ant to leave him. When 
the weather improved, he took them all out to pasture 
again ; but no sooner had they got near the hills than the 
Wild Goats broke away from the flock and scampered off. 
The Goatherd was very much disgusted at this, and 
roundly abused them for their ingratitude. " Rascals! " 
he cried, " to run away like that after the way I've 
treated you ! " Hearing this, one of them turned round 
and said, " Oh, yes, you treated us all right — too well, In 
fact ; it was just that that put us on our guard. If you 
treat newcomers like ourselves so much better than your 
own flock, it's more than likely that, if another lot of 
strange goats joined yours, we should then be neglected 
in favour of the last comers." 



THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE SWALLOW 

A SWALLOW, conversing with a Nightingale, advised 
^^^- her to quit the leafy coverts where she made her 
home, and to come and live with men, like herself, and 
nest under the shelter of their roofs. But the Nightingale 
replied, " Time was when I too, like yourself, lived 
among men : but the memory of the cruel wrongs I then 
suffered makes them hateful to me, and never again will 
I approach their dwellings." 

The scene of past sufferings revives 
painful memories. 

223 



THE TRAVELLER AND FORTUNE 

A TRAVELLER, exhausted with fatigue after a long 
journey, sank down at the very brink of a deep 
well and presently fell asleep. He was within an ace 
of falling in, when Dame Fortune appeared to him 
and touched him on the shoulder, cautionmg him to 
move further away. " Wake up, good sir, I pray you," 
she said ; " had you fallen into the well, the blame 
would have been thrown not on your own folly but on 
me, Fortune.'* 



CHILDREN'S ROUM 



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